Unexploded military ordnance closed the Molokai landfill on the same day that power outages cut off electric power to more than 2,000 customers.
Shortly after midnight last night, approximately 632 customers from the West End of Molokai lost power when lightning struck and blew out two lightning arrestors on a transformer in Maunaloa. Power was restored to 566 customers by 5:25 a.m. and remaining customers were brought back online at 7:15 a.m.
In a separate incident, 1,462 customers on the East End of Molokai lost electrical power at 11:47 a.m. earlier today. Power was restored at 1:16 p.m. The cause of this power outage remains under investigation, according to Maui Electric Company.
On Monday, workers at the Molokai Landfill discovered unexploded military ordnance, keeping the island’s only waste disposal facility closed this morning.
Molokai police officers secured the landfill and contacted the military explosives disposal unit. An explosive ordnance unit detonated the object earlier today and gave the “all clear” prior to 10:30 a.m. for the landfill to reopen to the public.
The Maui County Department of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division, thanks Molokai residents for their patience during this matter.
The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management also announced that due to insufficient staffing on Molokai, the Molokai Landfill will open at the later time of 9:30 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 16 to allow certified landfill personnel from Maui to cover the staffing shortage.
This measure is being taken to ensure the safe operation of the landfill, and to meet minimum State Department of Health operating requirements mandated by the county’s solid waste permit.
The Solid Waste Division apologizes for the inconvenience, and thanks the Molokai community for its understanding.