Storm Update 2.30pm
Strong winds continue to batter the Wairarapa, Rangitikei and Manawatu, cutting power to around 3000 properties.
Winds have brought down trees and debris, tearing down overhead lines and interrupting power supply. Wairarapa is the worst hit, with approximately 2300 customers without power, 400 in Manawatu and 300 in Whanganui.
Gales gusting 130km/h are forecast to hit Wairarapa this evening and are likely to cause further power cuts.
Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh urged members of the public to keep clear of any damaged lines and report them to Powerco on 0800 272727.
“Power lines that have fallen to the ground may look safe but they’re very often still live. Live lines can kill. Keep yourselves, your children, pets and livestock well away from any downed lines and call Powerco.”
Mr Marsh said extra crews had been called in to restore power and make lines safe. Around 50 field staff were working in the affected areas.