Progress to restore power continues
Friday 13 September 2013
Progress to restore power continues
Electricity remains out to 6,500 Orion customers this morning. Of the original 28,000 customers that lost power on Tuesday night, due to the gale force winds, 75% have now had power restored.
The areas without power are predominantly in the rural region west of Christchurch, while some smaller areas within Christchurch city are also affected.
"The extent of damage we are facing is significant and we are continuing to uncover more damage as we progress through our network repair. This is not an easy repair and as a result some customers will unfortunately be without power for a few more days. We hope everyone will be back on by end of day Monday but as we get closer to areas like Windwhistle we may uncover even more damage," says Orion Chief Executive Rob Jamieson.
"Our plan is to restore the network mostly from an east to west direction. Our priority is to reconnect the areas with the most customers first, before moving onto those faults which only affect a small number of customers. We are also working with Selwyn District Council to prioritise water supplies," continues Mr Jamieson.
"Given damage to surrounding areas we haven't been able to call on the usual mutual support from neighbouring lines companies as they are busy fixing their own networks. However, contractors from Marlborough and Wellington are now able to give us additional support which is helping."
An update of yesterday's map showing expected restoration times for different areas will be attached to our next update at 4.00pm.
"We appreciate that for customers still without power it is difficult and frustrating, and we thank them for their patience. All available crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as they can," says Mr Jamieson.
If you see a fallen power line, or a tree on a power line, please stay well clear and call us immediately on 0800 363 9898. Also, we appeal for people not to try and remove trees and branches from power lines. The lines may still be live. Please leave any works near electricity lines to our staff and contractors.
Our next update will be at 4.00pm.
For further information please contact:
Rob Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer, 027 432 4367
Orion New Zealand Limited owns and operates the electricity distribution network in Christchurch and central Canterbury between the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers and from the Canterbury coast to Arthur's Pass.
There are 11 electricity network companies in the South Island, each covering a distinct area. There is no geographical overlap between electricity network companies. Our neighbouring network companies are Mainpower to the north, Electricity Ashburton to the south and Westpower to the west.
Orion delivers electricity to190,000 homes and businesses. We do not generate or sell electricity - those functions are carried out by electricity retailers and generators such as Meridian Energy and Mighty River Power. In very simple terms we are a 'transport company', tasked with distributing electricity within our region. That electricity is supplied to us from Transpower's national grid and is sold to consumers by electricity retailers.
On any given day there are inevitably some power cuts. The nature of electricity means that it is impossible to keep all of the power on all of the time, and we try to strike the right balance between the cost and inconvenience caused by power cuts and the costs to consumers of trying to prevent them.
The laws and regulations that govern electricity distribution companies recognise that on an average day in our region, power cuts that are equivalent to around 400 customers losing power for an hour are to be expected. The regulations also make allowance for those numbers to increase during snow and wind storms and other big weather events.
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information about Orion and what we do please see our