Crews make good progress
Powerco crews have made good progress throughout the morning restoring power to about 3000 customers across its storm-damaged Western network.
Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said 7300 were still without supply but expected many more to be reconnected by the end of the day.
“They’ve been working since first light and conditions are still trying,” he said. “The damage is widespread throughout the central and lower North Island,” he said.
Areas where customers are still without power include Wairarapa 920, Manawatu 1420, Whanganui 320, Taranaki 1200 and Rangitikei (which includes Marton, Taihape, Waiouru and Raetihi) 3460.
Efforts to use helicopters to check network damage in the Central Plateau have been hampered by further snow falls this morning.
“There are pockets of customers in the Taihape, Waiouru and Raetihi areas that remain cutoff because of blocked road access. They may remain without power for a day or so.”
“The effects of this storm have been compounded by the combination of flooding, high winds and snow. The damage is very 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.