Storm Update 2.30pm Tuesday
More than 150 Powerco field staff have been battling difficult conditions to restore electricity to regions in the central and lower North Island.
Crews have made good gains throughout the morning, restoring supply to all but around 3000 customers.
Nearly 20,000 properties in Wairarapa, Manawatu, Whanganui and South Taranaki have lost power since severe weather hit the country yesterday morning.
Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said new faults were being found as repairs were being made.
Trees had caused the majority of the cuts to supply, he said.
“Many of the power cuts could have been avoided if people had contacted suitably qualified tree trimmers to have their trees cut or trimmed before they caused a problem,” he said.
Good progress has been made to restoring power to affected customers, with the majority of South Taranaki properties expected to be reconnected by tonight.
More than 70 field staff were working in Wairarapa alone to restore power, which was the area where the majority of damage was sustained to Powerco’s network, he said.
Mr Marsh said Powerco was working hard to get electricity restored to most of the affected properties by this evening, although there would still be customers without power overnight.
Powerco wished to thank customers for their patience, he said.