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Power still out for some after storm

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/04/2017

Power is still out to some residents two days after Cyclone Cook swept across the country.

The storm on Thursday and Friday wasn't as bad as feared and many people have set off for Easter holidays in its wake.

Still, power companies in the eastern Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay report fallen trees have significantly damaged their networks.

Hawke's Bay electricity company Unison says 400 customers remain without power on Saturday night, down from 15,000 when the storm struck.

Manager Danny Gough says there's extensive damage to the network in remote areas, mostly from fallen vegetation.

Horizon Networks says there's significant damage to power lines in the Whakatane and Opotiki districts, and at 4pm on Saturday 600 customers remained without power.

""The weather forecast is predicting further rain for the district over the coming days, this may result in further outages and delays in restoring supply across the region due to slips and trees," Horizon says.

"Even customers fortunate to have had their power supplies restored today should prepare themselves for further extended outages."

Eastland Power had 400 homes in Gisborne and the East Coast without power earlier on Saturday.

Meanwhile Whakatane residents and businesses are urged to be careful how they clean up and ensure mud is not hosed into storm water drains.

While Edgecumbe remains vulnerable to further flooding, the warning applies to the whole Whakatane District, Civil Defence Controller Paula Chapman says.

"Mud and silt in the system may block pipes and cause flooding when further rain comes," she said.

"This message doesn't just apply to Edgecumbe - the whole district's stormwater system depends on it being free of mud and silt."

She advised residents to pile mud and silt on berms outside, or near, their properties, which will then be collected in the coming days.

Authorities have been busy on Saturday clearing slips, reopening roads and working to restore electricity and increase the supply of water.

MetService meteorologists have said Auckland was lucky to have been spared the full force of Cyclone Cook's damaging winds.

The weather system made landfall to the east of Auckland, but had it tracked further west, the country's biggest city could have been subject to the storm's heaviest winds.

This included a 209km/h gust at White Island, north of the Bay of Plenty coast where the storm caused widespread damage.

The Coromandel Peninsula was subject to the heaviest falls from Cook with more than 200mm falling in 60 hours, while 150-200mm fell in the Kaimai Ranges to the south, the MetService said in a round-up of Cook's impact.

Areas north west of Nelson in the South Island experienced the heaviest falls with 350mm falling in the 60 hours.

But this was caused by a low pressure system coming from the Tasman that later combined with Cook to bring further falls.

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