Cyclone Gabrielle power restoration - 4.30pm update

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Challenging conditions and fault volumes are continuing to prevent Powerco crews from reaching customers impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

About 3,000 customers on Powerco’s network will have at least another night without power.

“We know it’s very difficult to be without power for extended periods of time, but please be assured we’re working as hard as possible to reach your area and reconnect you,” Powerco Head of Network Operations Caz Haydon says.

“If you have welfare concerns, whether for people or stock, please contact your local Civil Defence group for assistance.”

In Tararua district, the community from Pongaroa to Akitio has been left isolated because of significant flooding, with access only available by helicopter. Powerco crews are coordinating a heavy lift helicopter to fly in equipment, materials, and crews to restore supply during the next few days, she says.

In Wairarapa, power is yet to be restored northwest of Castlepoint, with 10 power poles down on Tanawa Rd and a tree across a line on Tīnui Valley Road, Caz Haydon says.

“While our teams have assessed the damage from the air by helicopter, access remains a major constraint to get equipment and crews into the area.” 

Extra fault crews are also arriving from Wellington to assist with the power restoration in the Wairarapa area, she says.

Power was able to be restored to the majority of the Tīnui township late last night, however. The Tīnui substation was flooded during Cyclone Gabrielle’s heavy rainfall. A tree close to the substation was removed to enable a power line from Powerco’s Awatoi substation to supply Tīnui township.

“Again, I’d like to thank all our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue to restore faults with access issues that are proving very challenging.”

Wind gusts are also picking up again in the lower half of the North Island and Taranaki, which could lead to more outages overnight.

As at 4pm, there were 3,047 customers without power across Powerco’s network – down from the 8,819 customers who were waiting to be restored at 4.30pm yesterday, and 3,719 at 11.30am today.

Coromandel – 1,192 customers
Taranaki – 737 customers
South Waikato – 386 customers
Wairarapa – 262 customers 
Bay of Plenty – 110 customers
Whanganui – 120 customers
Manawatū – 235 customers

Since Cyclone Gabrielle made landfall late on Sunday, there’s been more than 100,700 customers impacted on Powerco’s electricity network.


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