Eastland Network’s 25,000 customers suffered power cuts during the weekend after snow settled on Transpower’s 220kV circuit at Wairakei to Whirinaki (Taupo to Hawkes Bay) and interrupted electricity to the region.
Eastland Network’s general manager, Brent Stewart, says as a result the network lost electricity supply on Saturday from 2.45am until 5am, in a widespread power outage which affected all of Hawkes Bay, Wairoa, Gisborne and the East Coast. From 3.40am Eastland Network restored supply to 880 Mahia customers through the use of the Mahia generator.
At 10am continued build-up of snow in Hawke’s Bay again tripped the same Transpower circuit causing the same areas to lose power supply until 11.56am.
Later on Saturday afternoon, two faults occurred almost simultaneously on Eastland’s network with power cuts affecting around 600 Wairoa customers supplied from the Frasertown/Raupunga 11kV ring.
Mr Stewart says the faults were caused by extreme weather conditions – a power pole topped at 4pm near Frasertown, and trees fell through the 11kV line at 4.10pm near Waihua caused damage to conductors.
“Unfortunately due to the extreme conditions and access issues, repair work was unable to be undertaken until Sunday. Supply was restored progressively during the day with the last customers being restored at 5pm Sunday.”
He said twelve customers are without supply in the Woodlands area due to trees through the line.
“Repairs are expected to be completed and supply restored this afternoon. A further 80 customers in the Marumaru area are being supplied via a mobile generator while repairs are made to an 11kV river crossing – it is expected that normal supply from the network will also be restored there this afternoon.”
Mr Stewart reminded customers to treat all lines as live at all times and to contact the company’s call centre on 0800 206 207 if they noticed any faults or electricity supply issues.
“Eastland Network thanks and appreciates the patience shown by customers.”