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Powerco Making Steady Progress Restoring Power

5 March 2012 – 3pm
Release #9

Powerco Making Steady Progress Restoring Power

Powerco has tripled its field staff workforce since Saturday to help restore power to the 3,000 customers currently without power in Whanganui and South Taranaki.

The storm damage to the electricity network is the worst Powerco has experienced and the huge amount of rebuilding required will take some time to complete in rural, hard to access areas.

Powerco General Manager Electricity Andrew McLeod said more resources were being brought in from around the country to the hardest hit areas of Patea, Waverley and remote areas between Whanganui and Raeiti.

He said the damage to the network in Patea was particularly bad and Powerco staff have been sent to the town to help get information out to the local community.

Generators were on their way to Patea township to supply the majority of shops in the town centre as a temporary measure.

“We understand how difficult it is for people to be without power and not know when it might be back on. We’re working with electricity retailers to get the most up to date information out to members of the public.”

The damage to the electricity network is major, with some sections needing to be completely rebuilt. Around 600 overhead lines were brought down and a large number of poles damaged in South Taranaki and Whanganui.

Mr McLeod said the extent of the damage means it may take longer to fully restore supply to some customers where access is difficult or damage is extensive. “We’re trying to assess the restoration times for specific areas.”

“Our first priority is making the network safe. The high number of damaged lines mean there are still many that remain down and they must be treated as live at all times.”

People should ring Powerco on 0800 272727 if they see dangerous sections of the network. Customers wanting information about power cuts should phone their electricity retailer or go to www.powerco.co.nz/Outages-and-Faults/.

Powerco is New Zealand’s second largest electricity and gas distribution utility with around 420,000 consumers connected to its networks. Powerco’s electricity networks are in Western Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, Eastern and Southern Waikato, Taranaki, Wanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and the Wairarapa. Its gas pipeline networks are in Taranaki, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay.

Information about Powerco is available on its website www.powerco.co.nz

© Scoop Media

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