Wairarapa and Tararua customers urged to prepare for weekend high winds

Friday, September 15, 2023
Powerco is urging customers in Wairarapa and Tararua to secure outdoor furniture and prepare for the possibility of power outages ahead of strong winds forecast to blow through the regions during the weekend.

Gusts of more than 100km/h are predicted from around 6pm Saturday for Wairarapa and Tararua. The wind is expected to build during Sunday morning, with gusts of above 120km/h possible from around 11am through into the early hours of Monday morning.

Powerco Head of Network Operations Caz Haydon says gale force winds can cause trees and other flying debris to bring down power lines, cutting supply.

“Please take the time to secure anything that could blow into lines such as trampolines, outdoor furniture and other loose items, such as sheets of iron. Wind-blown debris has caused multiple power outages in previous storms and are a major threat to people’s safety.

“If you come across any downed power lines, it’s important that you treat them as live at all times, stay well clear and contact our 24/7 emergency line on 0800 27 27 27 or 111,” she says.

Powerco has extra field crews on standby ready to respond.

“We do our very best to prepare for extreme weather events and respond quickly by having extra crews on the ground ready to make repairs and restore power to our customers.”

Customers can prepare for possible power outages by stocking up on torches and batteries, ensuring cellphone batteries are charged and BBQ gas bottles filled, and having bottled water on hand if they rely on a pump. Visit the Powerco website for more power outage tips.

Customers wanting information about power cuts can go to Powerco’s power outage webpage powerco.co.nz/outages or can contact their electricity retailer.

The weekend’s extreme weather comes after winds blew through Wairarapa overnight last night.

Seventy-two customers in South Featherston lost power supply just after 6pm last evening after a tree contacted lines in high winds. The tree was cut away and power restored to customers by 8.30pm.

In a separate fault at 6.50pm, 477 Featherston customers lost supply after branches went through lines in Hardie Grove. Customers were progressively restored, with all power back on by just after 9pm.

Field crews were also kept busy with a number of faults affecting single customers in various areas of Wairarapa, many involving trees and branches through lines.

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