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Work continues to restore power in Christchurch

Orion snowstorm response
11.30am, Tuesday 16 August 2011

Work continues to restore power in Christchurch and central Canterbury

About 1000 customers remain without power in parts of Halswell, Rakaia, Leeston, Greendale, Ellesmere and Southbridge as at 11.30am. Twenty Orion crews continue to assess damage and make repairs to overhead lines in affected areas.

Where they can gain access, crews are isolating damaged lines from the network so they can start to restore power to customers. Most outages are due to heavy snow building up on overhead lines causing them to break, and snow-laden trees and branches falling on power lines.

Orion General Manager Commercial Rob Jamieson says that while power has been restored to pockets of customers this morning, Orion expects to make real progress reconnecting the majority of affected customers from early this afternoon.

"Once our crews have isolated the damaged lines from the network they can start the process of relivening the main lines supplying those customers currently without power. We hope to make some good progress with power restoration this afternoon," Mr Jamieson says.

"We understand customers' frustrations regarding these power outages, however we are doing our very best to get power back onto those affected," he adds.

If your power is off please contact Orion on 03 363 9898. Contact friends or family for help where necessary, or call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 for assistance and advice.

The Orion website gives details of current power outages, including areas affected and estimates for power restoration - see www.oriongroup.co.nz/outages.aspx. Orion also uses Twitter to send updates about the power supply situation in Christchurch and central Canterbury - see www.twitter.com/OrionNZ

Unless the situation changes significantly, Orion's next update will be at 5.00pm.

ENDS


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