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Generators brought into Taupo Plains

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/08/2016

Generators are being brought in to help property owners in the snow-laden Taupo Plains area, who face being without power for "a few weeks".

More damage is being uncovered and access is continuing to delay restoration, power company Unison says.

It could be a month until the network is fully repaired, meaning customers face several weeks without power.

"Because of this, we made the call to bring in alternative supply so our customers can have power to get through while we carry out the repair work," spokesman Danny Gough said on Wednesday.

The alternative resources include network connected generators as well as smaller generators for home and farm owners, supplementing those already provided by third parties.

Customers are expected to have access to 75 per cent of their normal power capacity.

About 40 locals attended a community meeting in Rangitaiki on Tuesday and Gough said they understood the extent of what Unison was facing.

"This is a massive restoration effort," he said.

"We are going to throw all we can at it, but the damage is severe and it will take time. We want to look at what alternatives are available with that in mind."

About 200 properties in the Taupo Plains are without power after a major dumping of snow at the weekend.

In rural Hawke's Bay, about 100 customers had had power restored, leaving about 100 still without.

State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupo remains open, but the NZ Transport Agency has warned drivers to take extra care.

NZTA highway manager Wayne Oldfield said motorists should be prepared for the wintry conditions and that included being warmly dressed, having a full tank of fuel, and taking food and water.

Other routes in the central North Island where extra care is required include:

SH1 Desert Road - open but with winter driving conditions,

SH2 Otoko to Matawai - ice and winter driving conditions,

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