Crews making progress despite challenging access issues – 4.30pm update
Powerco has made good progress reconnecting customers today, but access issues continue to prevent restoration efforts. Customers not currently connected will unfortunately remain without power overnight and should prepare for this possibility.
As of 4:30pm there are 19,040 customers without power across Powerco’s network, spread across the following regions:
- Coromandel – 7,427 customers
- Taranaki – 3,056 customers
- South Waikato – 3,131 customers
- Bay of Plenty – 3,495 customers
- Manawatū – 374 customers
- Wairarapa – 902 customers
- Whanganui – 456 customers
Powerco Head of Network Operations Caz Haydon says customers are being reconnected wherever crews are able to safely do so.
“Given that we had 47,000 customers without power at peak today, we’ve made some progress in reconnecting those impacted but unfortunately accessing fault sites continues to be our biggest challenge.
“Although we have every crew working to restore power, fallen trees, slips, flooding and road closures are preventing them from accessing fault sites – especially in the Coromandel. High winds have also made it unsafe for crews to scale ladders, and we’ve had to stand them down in these instances until the weather subsides.”
In the Coromandel, Powerco today attempted to assess faults using a helicopter in Tairua, but this became too hazardous due to high winds. Caz says as soon as we have the opportunity to get back into the air safely, we’ll continue our assessment.
“With the storm moving away and conditions easing from Wednesday, we’re optimistic we can make good progress in getting the power back on.”
Unfortunately in the interim, Powerco expects many customers currently without power will remain disconnected overnight.
“Our crews will work into the evening as long as safely possible but eventually, we’ll need to stand them down until morning, except for responding to emergencies such as downed power lines.
“We know it’s tough for customers to be without power for so long, but we need to manage the safety and fatigue levels of our crews, who have been out in force since Sunday in challenging conditions.
“We cannot thank our customers enough for their understanding and ask those who are still impacted to be kind to our crews who are doing their best in difficult situations.”
For information about power cuts, customers can visit Powerco’s live outage map at www.powerco.co.nz/outages or contact their electricity retailer.