Restoration effort in final stages

Friday, February 23, 2018

Powerco crews have made good progress restoring power to about 24,000 customers affected by cyclone Gita on Tuesday.

Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said 1300 were still without supply but expected many more to be connected by the end of the day.

“Powerco field staff are out in force today working to get power back on to the remaining customers impacted by the cyclone,” he said. “There are some areas where the damage is widespread and extensive.”

“The most badly affected area is Eastern Taranaki such as Strathmore, Toko, Douglas and Whangamomona. Reports from the field indicate around 90% of the damage in Eastern Taranaki has been caused by trees breaking and falling into power lines.

“Overgrown trees have fallen in their path and have to be cleared before sections of the network can be rebuilt,” he said. “Due to the scale of the damage, there are areas that will take at least another week to rebuild. Major construction projects are needed in some of these more remote areas.

“We are looking at providing generation to areas that have extended supply issues,” said Mr Marsh.

“Customers without power can help us 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.”

“While there are a number of crews working to get all residents back on supply, it may be helpful if we can be pointed to individual properties.”

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 they still have safety concerns.

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

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