Wellington Scoop

Electricity restored to 14,000 Hawkes Bay homes after cyclone damage

News from Unison Networks
Unison crews have restored power to over 14,000 of the 15,000 customers who lost electricity following Cyclone Cook.

“It’s been a big effort by the team so far today and we are hugely appreciative of their endeavours. They will continue to work until night fall to restore as many customers as we can,” Relationship Manager Danny Gough said.

Unison remains aware that approximately 400 customers were likely to be facing another night without power due to the extent of the damage in their areas:

Earlier News from Unison Networks
Unison yesterday restored electricity to the majority of its Hawkes Bay customers who lost power as a result of severe damage to the network from Cyclone Cook, but around 3,000 were still without power.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “Our crews have made great progress, and we are really proud of their efforts, especially given the extent of the damage on the network. They will be ready to get out again at first light.”

Customers in and around the following, mainly rural, areas were likely to be without power overnight:

Kahuranaki, Maraetotora, Middle Rd, Raukawa, , Crownthorpe, Sherenden, Rissington, Patoka and Tutira

“Given the extent of the damage, it is possible that we will have further outages and there may be pockets of customers in other areas that are out.”

News from Unison Networks – April 14
Unison has restored power to approximately 9,000 Hawkes Bay customers, with around 6,000 customers still without power.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “Our crew are out there working hard to get people back on and we’re hoping to have most customers in urban areas on tonight.

“They’ll continue to work flat out until nightfall. Unfortunately for around 3,000 rural customers, and customers in the areas most affected, it may be a day or two before we can restore power. Extra crews will be brought in to assist us tomorrow and it’s our goal to have everyone back on by tomorrow evening.”

“Due to the sheer extent of the destruction we’ve had to focus efforts where we can make the biggest impact today,” says Danny.

For customers without power tonight, Unison is advising them to prepare plans to get through, make sure they have plenty of food, gas in the BBQ, torches and spare batteries.

“Stay with friends and family if you need to,” says Danny. “We really do appreciate everyone’s patience, as we continue to recover from Cyclone Cook that certainly gave us a good whack.”

Earlier News from Unison Networks
Around 15,000 customers are without power across Hawke’s Bay after a large number of power lines were damaged by last night’s brutal storm.

Unison Relationship Manager Danny Gough said the majority of the outages were caused by trees and debris falling into power lines as well as some fallen power poles and lines.

“When the worst of the weather passed at around 10 pm last night, we were able to send crews out to start restoring power to major feeders.

“With the weather now clear, we have had crews out at first light to begin clean-up and repairs to the network. However, the damage is severe and fallen trees are blocking roads, so it’s going to take some time to work through it all. Customers should still be prepared for long periods without power.”

Unison has brought extra crews into the region and has helicopters out to assess the full extent of the damage.

Unison’s biggest concern is safety with some power lines down. Customers should always treat lines as live, and be prepared that the power can come on unexpectedly, so should be treated with caution.

“When there is this much damage, our priority is to ensure that CBDs, businesses and industrial customers are connected first, then residential customers and those in rural areas. We are really grateful for all the understanding our customers are showing and just want to assure everyone we are doing all we can to get people back on as soon as possible. While Cyclone Cook was short-lived, it was also very destructive as we were warned, and Hawke’s Bay has certainly felt its wrath.”

News from NZ Police – April 13 at 8.35pm
Numerous roads across the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne/Tairawhiti regions are partially or completely blocked due to the weather. Police advise people in these areas to avoid all travel unless it is absolutely essential. There are too many roads impacted to name them all, most are affected by trees coming down.

In Bayview, Napier there is a diversion in place on Main North Road because of a substantial slip.

News from NZ Police – April 13 at 10pm
The Motueka Valley Highway is impassable 20km north of Tapawera due to a slip.

Motorists will be unable to get past the blockage which is near Stanley Brook.

Police will provide traffic control, but motorists will need to travel via Richmond to reach Motueka.

There are also multiple slips on the Takaka Hill.

We advise motorists to avoid all travel unless absolutely essential.