You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Gisborne told to brace for more power cuts

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/12/2016

Gisborne residents are being told to brace for more power cuts over the weekend as crews make final repairs to the area's damaged electricity network.

Power was restored to the area on Wednesday night, ending a 33-hour outage that affected most of the district's 40,000 residents - after powerlines in the remote Hangaroa region, north of Wairoa, were downed in a light plane crash that killed two.

But lines company Eastland Network now says residents will be hit with another eight-hour outage from 6am on Sunday.

General manager Brent Stewart said the district-wide shutdown was needed to allow for final repairs on the network.

"Our crews have repaired one circuit to restore electricity in the district, but we need to get the second circuit up and running as soon as possible so that the district isn't vulnerable to a further unplanned loss of electricity," he said.

"The crews are having a rest day [Wednesday], then they need three days of preparation to get ready for the work ahead. We've chosen Sunday for that reason, and also because it's a weekend day so we are aiming for the least possible impact right before Christmas."

Poor weather had earlier hampered efforts to reinstall power lines across the damaged 800m stretch between pylons and Mr Stewart said it could force the repairs to be pushed back to Monday.

Businesses and agencies with generators are being warned to hold on to them until both circuits of the transmission line are repaired.

Civil Defence is warning residents to treat all lines as live during the outage and to turn off all appliances at the wall before power is restored.

Most of the homes and businesses in Gisborne and in the East Coast were left without power following the crash.

Gisborne Hospital and the city's police station remained open throughout the outage and police were out in force, with extra staff and patrols rostered on.

There were three burglaries over the period.

Meanwhile, police say they are still to formally identify the two victims of the plane crash and won't be able to name them until the process is complete.

The men, a pilot - reported to be George Anderson - and a loader driver, were described as very experienced by Farmers Air boss Andrew Hogarth.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon