By the end of this weekend, Gisborne and the East Coast should be operating at full power once again.
Eastland Network general manager, Brent Stewart, has confirmed that the electricity will be turned off from 6am until around 2pm this Sunday, 18 December. This is to complete final repairs to the high voltage lines near Hangaroa that were damaged in a plane accident on Monday morning.
“The preparatory work is going extremely well and our crews are making excellent progress. The weather is on our side, with good conditions forecast for the next few days. We’ll be shutting down the power this Sunday as planned, to get the second circuit repaired and make sure the district’s power supply is fully restored.”
Mr Stewart asked all Gisborne and East Coast residents to prepare for the electricity to be off, including in areas that have generators.
“Where possible we hope to keep generators running, but we can’t guarantee this. To be on the safe side, we ask everyone to organise their Sunday activities on the basis that the power will be off until 2pm. Please treat all lines as live at all times. We’ll keep people updated on progress throughout Sunday, and as soon as the power is back on we’ll let you know.”
“The community’s patience and understanding during this challenging week have been remarkable. It’s very unfortunate timing, with many people aiming to do some Christmas shopping this weekend, and we hope they can get most of it sorted on Saturday or Monday without too much inconvenience.”
Mr Stewart added that the crews have been overwhelmed by all the messages of support they’ve received, and asked him to pass on their thanks.
“They’ll be on site at dawn tomorrow and again on Sunday, to secure the power supply for our region.”
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PHOTO: New lines are being laid today, so final repairs can be completed this Sunday. Each line weighs about a tonne.