Crews make good progress
Power was restored to the Waiouru and Taihape townships late this afternoon after service from the national grid was reinstated by operator Transpower.
Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said both townships had been “ring fenced” to get power to essential services.
“However, there are still about 2000 rural customers in those regions that remain without supply,” he said.
“Heavy snow has blocked roads and further falls today limited the surveillance work we could do by helicopter. However, we are geared up to resume scoping those areas from the air first thing in the morning weather permitting.”
Good gains were made in other parts of Powerco’s Western region throughout the day. At 5pm just over 4000 customers were still without power including Wairarapa 721, Manawatu 696, Whanganui 100, Taranaki 470 and Rangitikei (which includes Marton, Taihape, Waiouru and Raetihi) 2100.
“We hope to reduce those numbers even further before we finish for the day about 9pm. We will have emergency crews on standby but those crews that have been out all day need a rest for safety reasons.”
There would be concerted drives across the region at the weekend to get as many people as possible back on full supply.
“The combined effects of the snow, rain and high winds have made this storm particularly damaging and widespread.”
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.