Powerco crews have geared up for a big push to restore power to customers in the Taihape, Waiouru and Mangaweka regions tomorrow and Thursday.
Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said while work continued throughout today more resources were being directed there over the next two days to get as many people reconnected as possible.
“It will depend on the weather but our contractors have the equipment and staff available to make a big impact on numbers still without power,” he said.
About 1300 people across Powerco’s Western network remain cut off by last week’s storm.
“The bulk of those are in the Central Plateau where our network received considerable damage from the heavy snowfall and high winds.”
Further helicopter reconnaissance in the Mangaweka region today revealed a much greater level of damage than first thought.
“When they took off this morning we knew of 10 faults. A much closer inspection has bumped that to 36 – all visible from the air. That includes broken poles and downed wires - replacements have been delivered to Taihape for the restoration work.”
Worker safety was a major concern and crew welfare was being carefully monitored.
“We are rotating workers to protect their health and the task has been made easier by the arrival of crew from other regions,” he said.
Progress was hampered by yesterday by new faults in Taranaki and Palmerston North.
People must stay well clear of from downed lines and call emergency services on 111 or Powerco’s emergency line on 0800 27 27 27 immediately.
Customers should contact their electricity retailer for information about power cuts rather than calling Powerco’s emergency line.
If customers have part-power or no power, especially when neighbours do have supply, it is important they contact their electricity retailer.