Gisborne and East Coast residents can look forward to hot showers and home-cooked meals very soon, as Eastland Network begins the process of restoring power to more than 20,000 homes and business across the Tairawhiti region.
The network’s general manager Brent Stewart says line mechanics working in the remote Hangaroa region have completed repairs to one of the two circuits on the high voltage lines which provide power to the area. Both circuits suffered extreme damage after a top-dressing plane crashed into an 800 metre span of the lines yesterday morning. Most of the region’s 40,000 residents have been without power ever since.
“Electricity will be restored gradually across the district from about 5.30pm,” said Mr Stewart. “The process will take between one and two hours, so please be patient if you see your neighbours’ lights coming on before your own home has power.”
He asked residents to turn appliances off at the wall, and switch them on again once the power supply was restored.
Eastland Network will need to turn the power off again in order to make permanent repairs.
“To complete the repairs and ensure ongoing security of supply, we will need to interrupt the electricity supply again. We’re currently working through plans to determine when this will happen and how long the outage will be when it does.”
Mr Stewart said Eastland Network would make an announcement about this tomorrow.
“In the meantime, the advice we’re giving is that if you have a generator in place you may want to disconnect it, but we suggest you do not return it hastily, wait until we have made that announcement tomorrow.”
He asked those living in Gisborne and the East Coast to keep themselves safe by continuing to treat all lines as live at all times.
“Electricity supply may be restored at any time.”