Electricity is likely to be restored to Gisborne and the East Coast before nightfall as Eastland Network crews continue to repair the high voltage lines near Hangaroa.
The 110kV lines were struck by a light fixed wing plane at about 9am yesterday morning, and most homes and businesses in Gisborne and the East Coast have been without power ever since.
As Gisborne residents went to sleep in a dark city last night, line mechanics started work on the damaged lines, standing down temporarily overnight during heavy rain, wind and lightning.
Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart said great progress had been made on the repairs throughout the day.
“We are hopeful power will be restored later this afternoon or early evening. Electricity will be restored gradually across the district so you may see your neighbours’ lights come on before your own home has power.”
Mr Stewart asked residents to turn appliances off at the wall this afternoon, and switch them on again once the power supply was restored.
He warned that Eastland Network would 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 occur.”
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.”
Video taken at repair site near Hangaroa, 12 December 2016 – https://youtu.be/Ku5owIAQL-s