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Orion crews work to restore power in snow storm

Orion crews work to restore power in snow storm

About 500 customers in Christchurch and central Canterbury are currently without power due to heavy snow continuing to fall in the region. Areas affected as at 11.00am include parts of Leeston and Tai Tapu, and small pockets of customers in Sumner, Akaroa, Lincoln, Prebbleton and Westmelton.

Orion crews continue to work as fast and as safely as they can to get power back on in affected areas. Parts of Leeston, Southbridge and McQueens Valley have had power restored this morning.

Orion General Manager Commercial Rob Jamieson says that while the network is performing well at this stage, the forecast is for further heavy snow in the next 24 hours which may cause more issues for crews working to restore power.

"If the heavy snow continues, our crews may have difficulty accessing some areas. This means that if the power goes out, we may not be able to restore it in badly affected areas for some hours. Residents need to be prepared for this possibility - thankfully the early forecast of the snow has encouraged people to stock up with provisions and get prepared," Mr Jamieson says.

Orion urges Christchurch and central Canterbury residents to keep off the roads as much as possible today, to allow crews to get to jobs safely and quickly to restore power.

Orion is confident that the network can cope with the extra load as heat pumps and other electric heaters keep residents warm during the storm.

The Orion website gives details of current power outages, including areas affected and estimates for power restoration - see http://www.oriongroup.co.nz/outages.aspx. Orion also uses Twitter to send updates about the power supply situation in Christchurch and central Canterbury - see http://www.twitter.com/OrionNZ Unless the situation changes significantly, Orion's next update will be at 5pm.

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