Restoration effort gets heavy-lifting boost ahead of next storm front

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A heavy-lifting helicopter is ferrying new power poles, equipment and field crews into the most remote areas of the Central Plateau today as Powerco's storm power restoration continues.

Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said the heavy-lifting helicopter was allowing field crews to get into areas that could not be accessed by road due to storm damage.

“Access has been the biggest difficulty. Kilometres of poles and lines in very remote areas have been downed. We believe we can make good gains today getting equipment into those most isolated areas,” Mr Marsh said.

The company had some 200 crew as well as outside support working together to get remaining customers reconnected as quickly and safely as possible, he said.

There are about 560 properties across Powerco’s western network still without power and the company is closely monitoring a heavy rain and strong wind band expected tonight.

Mr Marsh said customers could help by identifying any continuing issues.

“As we fix the main lines it is important that if customers have part power or no power, especially when neighbours do have supply, they contact their retailer.”

People should stay well clear of any downed lines and call emergency services on 111 or Powerco’s emergency line on 0800 27 27 27 if the still have safety concerns.

Customers should contact their electricity retailer for information about power cuts.

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