Storm in­flicts un­prece­dented dam­age

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Tues­day’s storm caused sig­nif­i­cant and wide­spread dam­age to the Coun­ties Power net­work.

At its peak, 14,600 prop­er­ties were with­out power as winds in ex­cess of 200kmh were recorded in the area.

Yes­ter­day (at the time of print) there were cur­rently 3714 prop­er­ties still with­out power, with some not ex­pected to be re­stored for 24 – 48 hours due to the mag­ni­tude of faults on the net­work.

Eight power poles fell dur­ing the storm, four in Waiuku and two each in Whangarata and Wa­iau Pa.

More than 50 lines fell, with this num­ber ex­pected to rise as more dam­aged ser­vice lines are re­ported. Fly­ing de­bris from trees and veg­e­ta­tion caused the most dam­age to lines.

Coun­ties Power gen­eral man­ager field op­er­a­tions Dale Car­line said the storm caused se­vere dam­age to the net­work, with the im­pact far greater than that of the Jan­uary 5 storm event.

‘‘While the West Coast of our re­gion ex­pe­ri­enced huge dam­age to the net­work, the im­pact was felt all across the re­gion.Lines down have oc­curred from the Manukau Heads through to Glen Mur­ray and over to Ka­iaua,’’ Car­line said.

‘‘Our crews were work­ing through the night (Tues­day) with the pri­or­ity be­ing safety - keep­ing our com­mu­nity and team safe, mak­ing the net­work sta­ble and re­solv­ing faults where pos­si­ble. Safety is still our fo­cus as more re­ports of lines down come in this morn­ing.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant our com­mu­nity un­der­stands that the dam­age our net­work has sus­tained is un­prece­dented. We will have some prop­er­ties with­out power for 24 – 48 hours.

‘‘Our crews are work­ing hard to re­store power as quickly and as safely as pos­si­ble and I thank them for their hard work in se­vere con­di­tions last night. We’re in­ves­ti­gat­ing bring­ing in ad­di­tional re­sources to as­sist with net­work re­pair to get the power flow­ing as soon as pos­si­ble. We ap­pre­ci­ate this is dif­fi­cult for our cus­tomers and thank them for their pa­tience.’’

Please treat all lines as live at all times and call Coun­ties Power im­me­di­ately on 0800 100 202 to re­port any lines down or de­bris on lines. Do not at­tempt to re­move branches or de­bris from lines or try to move them.

Each downed or dam­aged line can take around 4 – 6 hours to make safe, show­ing the huge amount of time and re­sourc­ing re­quired. Pri­or­ity num­ber one is en­sur­ing downed lines and un­safe equip­ment is made safe and se­cure for the pub­lic. Net­work sta­bil­ity and large-scale faults are the next pri­or­ity for crews, then in­di­vid­ual prop­erty faults.

For any­one who still has no power due to a fault on their pri­vate ser­vice line, once the line has been made safe by Coun­ties Power, they can con­tact an elec­tri­cian for a re­pair.

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