Northpower Storm update #7
Northpower Limited Media Statement
Date: July 9, 2014 – 2.50pm
Subject: Northpower Storm update #7
Northpower now has more than 100 staff in the field assessing storm damage and implementing repairs due to the worst storm the network has experienced in the past seven years.
Field staff numbers in Whangarei have been doubled today and crew numbers in the Kaipara District have been increased significantly with Northpower staff arriving from the company’s Tauranga, Matamata, Hamilton and Warkworth depots.
6500 Northpower customers are currently without power across the Kaipara and Whangarei Districts as Northpower prepares to undertake its second aerial inspection of the day – this time at Whangarei Heads. The chopper earlier located the cause of faults (trees through lines) in the Kaipara District.
While the company is hoping to have power outages reduced to the low thousands by later this evening, it warns that many locals will be without power for a second night.
However, some crews will continue working late into the night to try and maximise restoration. Outages are likely to remain into the weekend for some people.
The company is urging Kaipara and Whangarei residents to remain patient as crews work hard to restore power. Most outages have been caused by trees falling on powerlines.
Northpower Network General Manager Graham Dawson says crews are having difficulty accessing some areas due to flooding and continuing high winds.
“We will require the wind to subside before we can use a helicopter to fly power poles into one location north of Whangarei and we are waiting for flood waters to subside near Whakapara to complete another restoration,” says Mr Dawson.
“The wind is hampering us at Pataua North due to the safety of lines crews.”
Public Affairs Manager Steve Macmillan is asking locals to continue reporting outages to Northpower’s faults line – 0800-10-40-40.
“It’s critical we are made aware of on-going faults and the cause of potential faults,” says Mr Macmillan.
“While we are concentrating on the core of our network, we need land owners to check their service lines in case there has been a tree fall. We hope to begin repairs on service lines tomorrow, subject to the good progress we are making on core feeder faults.
“As always, we will continue to do our best to restore power. Meantime we need people to keep away from downed lines and phone 111 in case of emergency.”