Power cut hits 20,000 Kapiti cus­tomers


‘‘It’s a big deal for us.’’

A fallen tree, a car crash and faulty equip­ment have com­bined to cut power to about 20,000 Kapiti cus­tomers in the past week.

There have been three ma­jor ou­tages. The big­gest, when a tree col­lapsed on to pow­er­lines in Val­ley Rd, Para­pa­raumu, on Satur­day night, af­fected 13,811 cus­tomers from Paekakariki to Para­pa­raumu Beach.

About half that num­ber were af­fected again on Tues­day evening when a binder, which holds the line on top of the in­su­la­tor, failed.

A car col­lided with a power pole on Reiko­rangi Rd on Thurs­day night, af­fect­ing about 1000 cus­tomers in the vicin­ity.

Power has been re­stored to all homes af­fected by the ou­tages.

Electra chief ex­ec­u­tive Neil Sim­monds said about half its cus­tomers had been af­fected, and it was un­usual to have three ma­jor ou­tages in a month, let alone a week.

‘‘That’s like a third of a year’s worth of cus­tomer out­age min­utes,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a big deal for us.’’

Para­pa­raumu res­i­dents Bill and He­len Lam­bert were among those af­fected by the Satur­day out­age.

‘‘You couldn’t see a light any­where, ex­cept for one lighted win­dow. They were us­ing a can­dle or a torch,’’ Bill said.

He­len’s lap­top charger and Bill’s tran­sis­tor ra­dio were both dam­aged and no longer work. It cost $126 to have the lap­top ex­am­ined, but it was not worth re­plac­ing un­der their in­sur­ance plan.

‘‘If it had dam­aged He­len’s com­puter or my com­puter or the TV, it would have been worth­while putting in a claim,’’ he said.

He missed the first half of the Hur­ri­canes’ win over the Cru­saders, but the power was back on for the sec­ond half.

‘‘If we’d been able to watch the first half and it cut out in the sec­ond half, that would have re­ally an­noyed me.’’

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