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Storm repair costs will be high

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Powerco estimates it will cost at least $2 million to repair the damage caused by this week's storm.

Powerco Operations Manager Phil Marsh said the Central Plateau remained the worst affected area where heavy snowfall and high winds brought down poles and lines.

“People are saying it’s the worst snow storm in that region since 2002,” he said. “On that occasion our network received massive damage and this is just as bad.”

About 1200 customers in the Taihape region remained without power and it could take a few more days to restore supply to some very rural customers.

“We have identified those customers we anticipate will be worst affected. While some may have their own generators our staff are contacting everyone to see if they need assistance.”

“We are gradually mopping up problem areas in other parts of our Western region in Wairarapa, Manawatu, Whanganui and Taranaki. Once we are on top of those, more crews will be sent to the Central Plateau to continue restoration work there.”

That would involve replacing about 100 poles brought down in the storm and repairing kilometres of downed lines.

“Good progress is being made restoring high voltage supply. However, some people might still have low voltage problems that we don’t know about. People might notice their neighbour has power and they don’t. That is a low voltage problem and they need to contact their retailer who will let us know.”

Mr Marsh urged people to remain wary of downed lines. Any one coming across downed lines should keep well clear of them and call emergency services on 111 or Powerco on 0800 27 27 27 immediately.

“Use these numbers for emergency calls only. People have been calling our 0800 for information on outages which has been clogging our emergency lines. They need to call their retailer or check our faults page at www.powerco.co.nz for outage details.

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