Cyclone Gabrielle: Restoration efforts continue – 11:30am update

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

With the weather subsiding, Powerco is optimistic it can restore power to many more customers today that have been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

As of 11:30am, there are 12,601 customers without power across Powerco’s network, spread across the following regions:

  • Coromandel – 6,883 customers
  • Taranaki – 1,654 customers
  • South Waikato – 1,223 customers
  • Wairarapa – 905 customers 
  • Bay of Plenty – 698 customers
  • Whanganui – 783 customers
  • Manawatū – 451 customers

To date, crews’ efforts have been hampered by access issues (slip and flooding) and hazardous conditions such as high winds, but Powerco Head of Network Operations Caz Haydon says with the storm moving away from the North Island, these barriers should be less of an issue.

“Our crews are out in force today, making the most of gaps in the weather. Faults are decreasing, with our focus on restoring power to the larger outages, which are being assessed for restoration and repair across all regions as a priority. We are also prioritising those who have been without power for the longest.

“As the day progresses, we’ll be able to provide more certainty over restoration timeframes for our customers – we encourage those without power to keep an eye on our outage map for updates.”

Helicopter patrols will be used to assist restoration today, including assessing faults in Taranaki, Tinui and Tairua – the latter of which accounts to around 6,000 of customers currently without power.

A drone will also be used in the Eastern region to assess remote lines. 

Caz says the safety of crews continues to be a priority for Powerco. Two crews trapped in the Wairarapa overnight, who were isolated by a slip and a flooding, are being flown out today.

“Our restoration efforts continued until late evening on Tuesday, but it’s important our crews are well rested before they tackle more restorations today. As such, we’ve stood a few down for the morning to rest but they will be available later today, reconnecting remaining customers as quickly and safely as possible.

“Once again, our deepest thanks and appreciation to our customers for their understanding and patience.”

Powerco will provide more information in its next update, scheduled for 4.30pm.


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