Restoration work has been difficult today as our crews battled high winds, flooding, slips, and major damage from trees through lines.
Over the course of the day we have made good progress despite the weather and access conditions. We have restored power to 12,200 customers and currently, there are 17,800 customers without power.
We have restored power to some customers in:
The work in the Ruakaka involved four poles that had fallen down, the crews fully re-built these today – not an easy task in the wind and with surface flooding in sodden paddocks.
There are still customers without power in the above areas, and we are working to plan further repairs to increase the number of customers we can restore on these lines. This is likely to take some time and customers should prepare for outages of 3 – 7 days.
We are also acutely aware that many customers will have power out due to faults on the low voltage lines or equipment like transformers. Until the high-voltage lines are livened, we cannot identify these issues properly, but we will get to these after the high-voltage restorations. Customers without power in these areas should plan to be without power for around a week.
Main high voltage lines to the zone substations at Ruawai and Poroti have suffered major damage. The Ruawai main feeder line has over 30 poles down, so this is going to require an extensive rebuild. We have managed to restore the Ruawai town centre through back-feeding, and are mobilising generation to help us liven more customers. However, there is still extensive repair work to be done on the distribution lines, and customers in the area without power should prepare for an outage of over a week.
The Poroti main line into the substation has been repaired, but the lines out of the substation that power the community have suffered a lot of damage, customers should prepare for an outage of around a week.
There are many other areas that have suffered extensive damage, our crews have been out assessing the damage today and making plans for repairs. Further detailed information by area will be published tomorrow once we have a clearer picture of estimated restoration times.
We will keep information updated on our website northpower.com/gabrielle and Facebook feed.
We have extensive construction capability and a high number of crews available, with additional staff coming up from all over New Zealand to help out. The weather is forecast to improve tomorrow, so this will enable us to complete construction rebuilds and repairs at pace. Even with that level of resources, the extensive nature of the damage and some access issues due to flooding and slips means it is going to take at least a week to rebuild the core aspects of the network.
If you have damage to your service line (the line on your property) you may be able to get a contractor to help you. A list of approved contractors is available on our website: northpower.com/gabrielle. If you have damage to your switchboard your electrician will be able to help.
We would like to thank everyone, and especially those without power for their patience and understanding as we work through this.
A reminder to please treat all lines and equipment as live at all times, please stay well clear of downed power lines and call us on 0800 10 40 40.