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Weather threatens to hamper restoration progress

Friday, July 21, 2017

A weekend of unsettled weather is expected to hamper the progress of workers battling to restore electricity to about 260 customers in the Taihape area.

A weekend of unsettled weather is expected to hamper the progress of workers battling to restore electricity to about 260 customers in the Taihape area.

They are the last of the 10,000 left without power when Powerco’s electricity network was devastated by a storm last week which packed the triple effects of heavy snow falls, high winds and flooding.

Powerco Acting Network Operations Manager Dean Stevenson said rough weather grounded helicopters in Taihape today, preventing the transportation of poles and drums of replacement line to the storm hit areas.

“That weather may continue for a few days but residents can be assured if there is a chance to fly we will have helicopters on the move,” he said. “However, safety is the first priority for Powerco and its contractors and we will not take any risks.”

The area north east of Mangaweka was one of the worst hit regions and includes 190 of those still without supply.

“Today we were able to reconnect the last of the schools that lost power so that was pleasing with everyone due back from holidays on Monday.”

Powerco appreciated the stoic approach of its Central Plateau customers.

“We apologise for the delay in getting power on to everyone. The positive response of people in the Taihape region to our crews has been heartening as they have battled in fairly trying conditions at times.”

Businesses in Taihape had also gone out of their way to assist.

“We have about 120 workers in the region that have needed accommodation and meals while the restoration work has gone on. Fuel suppliers have also kept our trucks on the road as they have travelled to and from some fairly remote areas.

Mr Stevenson said customers could help by identifying any continuing issues.

“As we fix the main lines it is important if customers have part power or no power, especially when neighbours do have supply, they contact their retailer.”

People should stay well clear of any downed lines and call emergency services on 111 or Powerco’s emergency line on 0800 27 27 27 if they have safety concerns.

Customers should contact their electricity retailer for information about power cuts.

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