16 Aug 2011

Power going back on, but some still without

10:08 pm on 16 August 2011

Power company workers in the Canterbury region and the southern half of the North Island have been working to reconnect power to all their customers, but some are still without power.

More than 60 properties spread across South Taranaki, rural Wanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa remain without electricity.

Powerco Network's co-ordination manager Dean Stevenson says some homes have been without power since Sunday so the company is prioritising those people along with farmers who need to have electricity for milking.

He says, assuming there is no further storm damage, he is confident repairs will be completed by Wednesday.

In Canterbury, Orion Energy has had 20 services crews at work gradually restoring power to all but 40 properties in rural areas south of Christchurch out of around 1000 homes that lost power during the height of Monday's snow storm.

The properties affected are mainly in Leeston, Tai Tapu and Dunsandel.

Another 100 customers in Christchurch are also still without power.

Orion's communications general manager, Rob Jamieson, says service crews have stopped work for the night due to the treacherous conditions but will resume at dawn.

He says access to some rural properties and heavy snowfall continues to be a problem, but he hopes power will be restored to all rural properties within the next 24 hours. . Wellington close to complete blackout

Transpower says Wellington was very close to a complete power cut on Monday night when only one circuit was left during a lightning storm.

Chief executive Patrick Strange says the flickering of lights seen by many people in Wellington was a sign of more serious problems.

Dr Strange told Morning Report that there are usually has four heavy duty circuits into the capital, but at one point during a lightning storm it was down to one.

The problem has been fixed, but he expects similar issues to emerge over the next few days.

Teams were in the field and at substations overnight following power cuts north of Wellington, extending as far as Palmerston North.

Dr Strange says it is a serious situation, but the company has been able to keep transmission stations operating.