INDEPENDENT NEWS

Far North power outages – Update 4

Published: Sun 30 Jan 2011 09:14 PM
Far North power outages – Update 4
Top Energy reports, as at 5:00pm, Sunday 30/01:
• There are 4 localised line faults remaining in the areas of Towai, Paroa Bay, Pokapu and Matawaia. Around 30 power consumers are without power as a result on these faults
• Towai, Paroa Bay and Pokapu faults are in the process of being repaired, which should restore supply to around 15 power consumers later this evening
• The Matawaia fault (affecting approximately 15 power consumers) remains inaccessible to vehicles. Helicopter assistance for this repair is being sought.
The next update will be released at approximately 7:00pm (Sunday).
Top Energy reports, as at Midday Sunday 30/01:
• There is 1 major line fault remaining in the area of Towai, where fast-flowing floodwaters in Kawkawa and landslides in Opua have cut off access to the area so far this weekend. Crews are working with Civil Defence to establish safe access, which may only be by air later this afternoon
• Across the region, there are a number of localised outages which are being identified as people begin to return to their homes following the storm. These are being dealt with in order of priority
• Approximately 80 power consumers remain without supply.
The next update will be released at approximately 3pm (Sunday).
Top Energy reports, as at Midnight, Saturday 29/01:
• There is currently 1 major line fault remaining in the area of Towai, where fast flowing floodwaters in Kawakawa and Landslides in Opua have prevented access to the area during today
• Across the Far North region, there are still around 120 power consumers without supply
• Top Energy expects to continue to identify localised areas without supply, as people return to their homes over the weekend.
Top Energy reports, as at 9:00pm Saturday:
• There are currently 2 major line faults, within the areas of Towai and Awarua.
• Top Energy is also identifying localised areas without supply which are now being reported as people are being allowed back to their homes
• Across the region, there are around 120 power consumers without supply
• The two major faults are as a result of landslides bringing trees into contact with overhead lines.
• Access continues to remain difficult in some areas due to flooding, landslides and debris blocking roads. In particular Towai (Kawakawa), where all roads into the region remain flooded or blocked by landslides.
Top Energy reports, as at 6:30pm Saturday:
• There are currently 3 line faults, within the areas of Towai, Awarua and Kohumaru
• Approximately 70 power consumers are without supply
• All three faults are as a result of landslides bringing trees into contact with overhead lines. (In the case of Kohumaru, over 25 pine trees have bought the 11kV line down in one landslip)
• Access remains difficult in some areas due to flooding, landslides and debris blocking roads.
Original Media Release:
Described by a WeatherWatch analyst as the most significant storm to hit New Zealand in 14 years, ex-tropical cyclone Wilma caused localised power outages for some Far North power consumers overnight.
Substantial rain fell over the region with many areas receiving more than 200mm in a 15 hour period. Maximum rainfall intensities ranged between 15 - 40mm per hour.
Extensive flooding, major slips and falling trees caused 8 separate power outages across Top Energy's network - all within the Eastern Bays, Kaeo and Whangaroa areas.
Around 2,500 power consumers were affected at various times from early to late evening Friday, with approximately 900 remaining without power overnight, as Top Energy line crews struggled to gain access to downed lines because of extensive flooding and road closures.
According to Top Energy, General Manager Networks, Keith Gilby, line crews have been working hard in atrocious conditions to restore power. "As of 3:30pm today (Saturday) there remain around 200 power consumers without supply. We are continuing to work closely with Civil Defence to ensure supplies can be restored safely to the remaining customers affected, once the roads have been cleared and the floodwaters have subsided", he said.
END.

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