Taupo Plains: All Customers Now Restored to Usual Network Supply

September 05, 2016 12:38 PM

Taupo Plains: All Customers Now Restored to Usual Network Supply

Monday 5 September 2016

Last Friday saw the remaining customers in the Taupo Plains who had been affected by the August 5 and 6 snow storm reconnected to usual network supply.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “The last of the customers affected along Matea Road were reconnected to usual network supply on Friday, completing our restoration efforts in the area.

“It’s great news and has taken a tremendous amount of commitment and effort from our crews and those who offered support. Our team is all looking forward to work returning to business as usual.”

Mr Gough reiterated the Company was hugely thankful for the support of the community and the tolerance and assistance of those customers who were affected by the storm.

Previous updates

Taupo Plains: Restoration Progress Sees Customers Reconnected to Network Supply

Wednesday 31 August (2.35pm) 2016 

Unison Networks today advised a large number of customers who had been relying on generated power had now been reconnected to usual network supply, following the worst storm-related damage the lines company had seen in over a decade.

“We are thrilled the network is now largely repaired,” said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“Over 150 customers, of the almost 200 initially affected, are now reconnected to usual network supply, meaning they no longer need to rely on power from temporary generators.

“We haven’t seen damage like this on our network for well over a decade – the sheer weight of the snow pushed poles to the ground, broke and twisted them, as well as snapped lines. The restoration effort has certainly been significant.

“Unison crews, together with our peers from across the country who came in to assist, have now replaced over 200 poles which had been destroyed in the snow storm,” said Mr Gough.

He said last Friday customers along Taharua Road had been reconnected to usual supply from the Unison network, and the remaining were being brought back on this week.

“Early this week we have been focussed on reconnecting those in Lochinver Station and around the Rangitaiki Tavern area. All going to plan, the remaining customers along Matea Road who were being supplied by temporary generators should be back to normal network supply by the end of the week.”

The Company was appreciative of the ongoing support and patience of the local community, said Mr Gough.

“The support of the community has been incredible and we are hugely thankful. We know that power was just one of the issues the locals had to deal with following the snow storm, and we have really appreciated their ongoing tolerance, support and assistance.

“We’ve been mindful that keeping our customers informed has been crucial so we’ve been meeting regularly, sending updates and calling in to keep them up-to-date.

Taupo Plains – Unison brings in extra crews to assist with network rebuild

Monday 15 August (10.30am) 2016 

Unison Networks said crews from across the country were arriving in the Taupo Plains today to assist in the Company’s network restoration efforts.

“We were overwhelmed with offers of support, and have been waiting for access to clear so we could mobilise extra crews on site.

“With additional crews arriving today from Electrix, WEL Networks, and Broadspectrum, as well as from our own Hastings team, we will now have around 70 field staff on the ground,” said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

It made a huge difference having peers from across the industry reach out to help, he said.

Ranjit Manak from Auckland-based Electrix said as soon as they saw what had happened to Unison’s network in the Taupo Plains, they put in an offer of support.

“This is just what we do in this industry; when we see emergencies like this, we put in the call and offer help. The damage to Unison’s network is certainly significant, and the extra help will mean Unison can have the network repaired sooner, and customers back on.”

Hamilton-based WEL Networks General Manager, David van Deventer, concurred.

“Earlier this month, Waikato experienced a major weather event which caused significant power outages to our communities, so we appreciate how challenging this situation will be for our Unison colleagues.”

Rotorua-based Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield Services Limited) has a long-standing relationship with Unison, and is also sending in support.

Mr Gough said crews from Northpower (Whangarei), Horizon Energy (Whakatane) and Connetics (Christchurch) were also on standby.

He said while the majority of customers in the area were currently running via generation, customers would be progressively restored to full network supply now repairs were underway. 

Power Restored for Nearly All Rural Hawke’s Bay Customers in Time for the Weekend

Friday 12 August (6.35pm) 2016 

Power has now been restored for nearly all customers in rural Hawke’s Bay ahead of the weekend.

“Last night and today, our crews have done a great job restoring power for our rural Hawke’s Bay customers,” says Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“Due to the nature of the work however, some remedial work is required for a few households to get them back up and running to full capacity. This means a handful of customers will still need to rely on back-up generation.

“There may also be some minor faults that haven’t been brought to our attention. So, if there are customers out there without electricity that we haven’t already spoken with, we advise them to call and let us know.”

Customers who need to report a fault should call 0800 2 Unison (0800 286 476) or report it online at www.unison.co.nz/outages.

Mr Gough says the status of the restoration programme in the Taupo Plains remains the same; the majority of homes are now with power through network generation or localised generation, while the crew work through repairs to progressively restore customers back to full network supply.

Unison Networks’ next progress update on power restoration will be Monday

 
Thursday 11 August (Midday) 2016 

Taupo Plains – Generators Give Majority of Homes Power

Unison Networks advised by the end of today the majority of homes in the Taupo Plains would have power, through network or localised generation.

“Our priority has been to get homes with families back with power, and we are glad through the use of generators, that is now the case. Already a significant number of homes are running off localised generators,” said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“A lot of sites, which make up our total customer connection points, include a number of less critical sites like some pumps and seasonal properties, so our attention was focused on where it mattered most – on people.”

Today, Unison’s crews would be working on re-livening Unison’s 11kV network along Taharua Road, he said, which would see a cluster of customers supplied by an 800kVA network generator. Over the weekend the crews would be focused on connecting clusters of customers along Matea Road and along SH5 near the Rangitaiki Tavern through network generators as well. 

“We will continue to do this for clusters of customers where access allows, so those customers don’t need to rely on localised generation while repairs to our network are underway.”

He said full restoration to the damaged network would be a sustained effort so it was pleasing to know most homes would have power, supplied by generators, while repair work continued.

“We will throw all we can at it, but the damage is significant and it will take time. As we work through repairs, customers will however be progressively restored to full network supply.”

Previous updates

Wednesday 10 August (10.50 am) 2016 

Taupo Plains – Unison Bringing in Generators

Unison Networks today advised it is bringing in generators to help those customers who potentially face no power from the network for a couple of weeks, while Unison repairs the network.

“With access continuing to delay restoration, and more damage being uncovered, it looks like customers could be without power for a couple of weeks, and our network won’t be fully repaired for about a month,” said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“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.”

He said the Company would today be “deploying generation connected to the network so clusters of customers could get back on”, as well as bringing in “smaller generators for home and farm owners” to supplement the already deployed generators by third parties.

“We are bringing in a shipment of smaller generators today, and will bring in more once we understand customer requirements. We are liaising directly and asking those who don’t have alternative supply to get in touch with us.”

The localised generators being brought in today are 5.5 kilowatts, which would give customers about 75 percent of their normal capacity.

“The restoration is going to be a sustained effort. We are going to throw all we can at it, but the damage is severe and it will take time. As we work through repairs, customers will, however, be progressively restored to the network.”

Unison will be meeting daily with affected customers, alongside Civil Defence, the Community Constable, and other support organisations as needed.

 Rural Hawke’s Bay – More Customers to be Progressively Restored

Unison Networks has advised customers would be progressively restored as it works through repairs on the ground and is hopeful more will be back on after today’s efforts.

The crews were back out on site today, working in what was challenging conditions in some areas, said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“The conditions are tough, that’s for sure.

“We are continuing to bring people back on and, for those still without power, we are liaising with them to understand what alternative supply they may already have. We are focused on getting customers back with power and doing everything we can out there in rough conditions to make that happen.”


Taupo Plains - Power could be out for few weeks, Unison considers alternate solutions
 
Tuesday 9 August (5.35pm) 2016 

Unison Networks’ today advised that some customers in the Taupo Plains could be without power for a few weeks, and therefore the Company was looking at alternative solutions.

“Access continues to inhibit our restoration programme even getting underway, and we are uncovering more damage by foot, by 4WD, and by helicopter.

“Based on this, and new damage becoming apparent by the day, we predict some customers could be without power for a few weeks. Therefore, we’ve been reaching out to affected customers directly to look at alternative solutions, including generation.”

He said Unison’s community meeting today at the Rangitaiki Tavern was very timely and saw about 40 locals in attendance, alongside representatives from Taupo District Council, Civil Defence, Federated Farmers, the Ministry of Social Development, Police, and media.

The local community understood the extent of what Unison was facing, and the severity of the damage, he said.

“They are there; they can see what has happened to our network and the significance of the damage. They are facing similar access issues around their farms, limiting their ability to get to their stock, and in and out to the main road.”

He said Unison spoke to those customers in attendance about the network damage so far, ahead of full access being available to the worst hit areas.

“It is no easy feat. This is a massive restoration effort. 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.

“Also, following today’s meeting, we will be joining in a daily meeting with locals, Civil Defence, the Community Constable and other support organisations as needed. It’s important that we all rally together to be keep information and support fluid.”
 

Rural Hawke’s Bay – More customers restored, but some could be without power until weekend
 

Tuesday 9 August (5.35pm) 2016 

After today’s efforts on the ground, Unison advised now about 100 customers had been restored in total, leaving approximately 100 still without.

Progress was steady, advised Relationship Manager Danny Gough, but today’s efforts were challenged by difficult terrain and heavy snow in some parts.

“The terrain is really rugged in some areas, and also heavy snow was a huge factor for our guys today –  meaning some customers could be without power until the weekend,” he said.

“We are talking now with directly affected customers and considering alternative solutions. We are focused on getting customers back with power and doing everything we can out there in rough conditions to make that happen.”


Cross-country Access Biggest Challenge for Taupo Plains Restoration

Monday 8 August (5.30pm) 2016 

Taupo Plains Update:

Unison Networks today advised that cross-country access continued to be the biggest challenge facing restoration response to those 200 customers without power in the Taupo Plains.

Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said based on limited access to the biggest areas impacted by network devastation, it was looking like customers may be without power for longer than a week.

“Our crews today have been working in an area not too far from the road. Taupo District Council’s contractors, Higgins, have been clearing main and secondary roads, but our efforts are at this stage restricted by the lack of access to cross-country areas where most of the damage to our 33kV network is, with over 150 poles down, broken and more twisted,” said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“We have been working with Taupo District Council’s Civil Defence Emergency Management (TDC CDEM) team to organise clearance priorities for access, and working where we can with limited access.”

He said in the meantime, the team was also sourcing materials and organising support so restoration efforts could commence swiftly as soon as access was cleared.

“We have a number of poles already organised and ready to go. We will also continue to source material as information comes in from our teams on the ground.

“We would also like to thank our peers in the industry who have offered support by way of crews, as well as plant and equipment. Northpower, Horizon, Electrix and WEL Networks are on standby while we wait for access to be cleared and weather to improve so they can get in. Connectics and Broadspectrum have also extended an offer to help if we need them. Top Energy has offered to assist with plant and equipment. We are hugely thankful.”

He said Civil Defence, Federation Farmers, Dairy NZ and Rural Support Services continued to offer support to locals affected.

Unison has arranged a public meeting for customers at the Rangitaiki Tavern at midday Tuesday, 9 August.

Hawke’s Bay Update:

Unison advised crews have been out in the field today, across all sites where customers are without power in rural, high country parts of Hawke’s Bay.

“After today’s assessments from the ground, the team are encouraged we can get the majority of customers on in a few days as initially predicted.

“As we dig through by foot, we are uncovering more damage, so restoration will depend on how much more we find. We are hopeful a few more customers will get back on tonight.”

What field crews are noticing is a few people up in the snow, kids playing, where electrical lines are on the ground.

“Electrical lines are no place for playing, so we ask our communities to remember this and be vigilant while network damage remains extensive and buried in snow in some parts.” 

Customers affected are in the areas of Tutira (Pohokura/Ridgemount), Puketitiri, Esk Valley, Patoka, Tangoio and Otamauri.

“We are working with Civil Defence who are out there in the community assessing community needs in terms of access, supplies and animal welfare. We have also been liaising with Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and Rural Support to help our community get through this challenging time.”

Unison Provides Situation Update and Advice on How to Get Through

Monday 8 August, 2016 3pm 

Key Update Information:

  • Hawke’s Bay customers are still advised to prepare for a few days without power, as damage is extensive. 
  • Taupo Plains customers are advised to prepare for potentially longer than a week without power, as damage is extensive. 
  • A public community meeting is being held for Taupo Plains customers - Tuesday 9 August at midday – at Rangitaiki Tavern
  • Unison is working with Higgins Contracting and Civil Defence to clear snow from secondary roads.
    Hawke’s Bay specific – from HB Civil Defence
  • HB Civil Defence has a clear picture of the situation in terms of customers without power, and is focussing on these areas for welfare assessment.
  • They are working with dairy farmers for whom power is a priority, and this is being managed in coordination with Dairy NZ and Federated Farmers.
  • Attention is also turning to the feed situation, with both Dairy NZ, and Beef and Lamb NZ assessing those needs.
  • They are looking at general welfare requirements, particularly for vulnerable people. This includes assistance, including financial assistance for emergency accommodation (if evacuation is necessary) or special needs.  Psychosocial needs will also be addressed through the CD response plans. 
  • Roading – the only access currently open to the Hawke’s Bay region is from the south (via Manawatu Gorge)

     

    Taupo specific – from TDC CDEM
  • Taupo District Council Civil Defence Emergency Management (TDC CDEM) is assessing the situation to identify needs as a basis for developing a response. 
  • TDC CDEM will attend the community meeting Unison has initiated on Tuesday at midday at the Rangitaiki Tavern. Federated Farmers are also looking to send representation.


    Useful Advice:

  • Affected customers are advised to look at their wider support networks and make arrangements where they can, including reaching out to rural support services and welfare support. 
  • Keep up with updates via Unison’s Facebook and Twitter pages, or call 0800 2 UNISON if you don’t have the internet. Unison has made contact with as many customers as it can directly, and are issuing email updates where it can.
  • Safety first: Stay away from downed lines, poles and report any damage you come across to 0800 2 UNISON



Power Restoration Commences in Tutira, Assistance for Taupo Plains Customers Underway

Monday 8 August, 2016 10.11am  – With some 400 customers without power, Unison Networks is focused on restoring power where access allows and assisting the Taupo Plains community to get through what the company estimates will be at least a week without power from the network.

Taupo Plains Update:

The wild weather has brought down around 150 33kV poles, and about 50 11kV poles across the Taupo Plains leaving around 200 customers without power.

Conditions are now allowing access for crews with snow having melted from previous depths of one metre.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “The snow has now melted enough for our crews to commence the restoration programme.

“Higgins Contractors have started to clear the roads and our teams are accessing the area from the Taupo end. Teams will now be getting out there on foot which will allow us to get a better indication of the damage after initial aerial assessments yesterday.

“It looks like it’s possible these customers may be without power for longer than a week. This is the worst damage we have seen in 10 years and it’s going to take some time to fix the network devastation.

“Our focus is on helping our customers in this area to get through. We are liaising with Rangitaiki School to get a generator in there so we can get pump water from the bore for the community.

“The Tavern also has a generator which has been assisting with diesel. A community meeting is being arranged for midday tomorrow at the Rangitaiki Tavern. At that point we should have an even clearer picture of what we are facing in terms of restoration times.

“We are also continuing to make direct contact with customers to help them where we can through advice, information and support.”

He also advised for dairy farmers still milking they should organise portable generation if they can.

He said the company was continuing to liaise with Civil Defence, Dairy NZ, Federated Farmers and Rural Support.

Hawke’s Bay Update:

Damage is severe for network areas that feed customers in Tutira (Pohokura/Ridgemount), Puketiri, Esk Valley, Patoka and Otamauri but crews have now been deployed and restoration is commencing.

Relationship Manager Danny Gough said due the damage those customers could still be without power for a few days.

“With about twenty poles down, extensive vegetation issues and lots of wires lying across the ground, this is the worst damage we have seen in around 10 years. We also face very tough terrain in this region, so that’s the biggest challenge our crews out there are facing.

“We are working with Civil Defence who are out there in the community assessing their needs in terms of access, supplies and animal welfare. We have also been liaising with Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and Rural Support to help our community get through this challenging time.”

Previous updates

Power Restored for Some, Around 400 Remain Without Power Across Taupo Plains and Parts of Hawke’s Bay

Sunday 7 August, 2016 8pm – Unison Networks advised around 100 customers have now had their power restored as its field crews have commenced what is becoming an extensive restoration programme.

Approximately 400 still remain without power across the Taupo Plains and parts of Hawke’s Bay.

Taupo Plains Update:

The wild weather has brought down around 150 33kV poles, and about 50 11kV poles across the Taupo Plains, which is now covered in snow about one meter deep.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said that around 200 customers remain without power, and the teams had to wait for snow to melt or be cleared before they could commence the restoration programme.

“Our affected network spans about 60km, all of which is covered in thick snow, and high winds blustering through the ranges.

“Along with the fallen poles, many are also broken, those poles still standing are twisted, and there are wires strewn across the landscape . It’s real network devastation.”

He advised those customers will likely face no power for about a week, and the team were working with the community to keep them as informed as possible.

“We have started calling affected customers to urge them to make alternative arrangements and will continue that tomorrow. We have also been liaising with Civil Defence, Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ, and Rural Support.

“We are all going to work together and try and ensure our community gets through this challenging time; which will also involve looking at where generators might be of most benefit for community welfare.”

He also advised for those dairy farmers still milking, the Company advised they should organise portable generation if they can.

“In terms of the response plan, as soon as we can get access multiple gangs will commence restoration. We have arranged for our teams in Rotorua to come down to assist our Taupo crews.

“We have also been kindly offered assistance from our peers at Northpower, Electrix and Horizon.

“Once our Hawke’s Bay crews complete restoration in the local network, they will make their way up north to assist.”

Hawke’s Bay Update:

The team has now completed their aerial assessment of the network, and has confirmed damage is severe for network areas that feed customers in Tutira, Pohuka, Puketiri, Esk Valley and Otamauri.

Relationship Manager Danny Gough said those customers could be without power for a few days.

“We are committed to getting these customers back on as soon as we can, but damage is extensive, so we are urging customers to make alternative arrangements where they can, as well as reach out to wider support of family and friends.

“We have assigned about 10 gangs, as well as support from Centralines, across about seven sites to get restoration underway.

“We have about twenty poles down, but there are extensive vegetation issues and lots of wires lying across the ground. We also face very tough terrain in this region, so that will be the biggest challenge.

“We are working with Civil Defence who are assessing needs in terms of access, supplies and animal welfare. We have also been liaising with Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and Rural Support to help our community get through this challenging time.”

General:

He said the team was very thankful for everyone’s patience and the support that has been very well received by those in the field.

If outages occur through the middle of the night, he advised customers call 0800 2 UNISON in the first instance.

“Social media updates will resume in tandem with our crews at first light.” 

Customers can refer to Unison’s website for advice on getting through power outages and electrical safety: http://www.unison.co.nz/tell-me-about/safety

-Ends-

For more information, contact:

Danny Gough
Unison Relationship Manager
021 739461

Unison Advises Severe Network Damage to Taupo Plains

Sunday 7 August, 2016 2.25pm – Unison Networks has advised full aerial assessment indicates severe damage to the network on its Taupo Plains area, meaning customers could be out for a prolonged period.

Initial assessment shows about 150 33kV poles, and about 50 11kV poles are down across the Taupo Plains, affecting just under 200 rural customers in the area.

“Based on the current information we have, customers could be without power for about a week,” said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“We understand this will be a huge frustration for these customers and we are mindful of the impact. We will be dedicated to the restoration efforts, and will progressively put power back on as we go, as soon as we can get in to commence the restoration programme.

“We are getting in touch with our peers across the industry to get support from crews in other regions as we plan what is going to be an extensive restoration effort.”

He said therefore the Company was urging those customers to make preparations.

“We advise these customers to look at their wider support networks and make arrangements where they can, including reaching out to rural support services and welfare support.

“We will be liaising with Civil Defence to coordinate the response, and look where generators could be used.”

He said all crews will be dedicated to the restoration and the team was very thankful for everyone’s patience.

“We have been overwhelmed by everyone’s patience, and understanding of the impacts of the weather on our network.”

For those customers without power in Tutira (about 180 customers), damage was also likely to be significant based on initial reports, but the team was awaiting the helicopters to return from their patrols with final damage reports.

Smaller numbers of customers are still off in Tangoio (89), Esk Valley (63), Puketitiri (12), Waipunga (47), and Patoka (25). For areas where access is not limited and safety is not being challenged, Unison’s focus will be to get those customers restored as soon as possible.

Customers can refer to Unison’s website for advice on getting through power outages and electrical safety: http://www.unison.co.nz/tell-me-about/safety. Updates are also available on its Facebook page.

Previous updates

Unison Advises Rural Damage Appears Extensive

Sunday 7 August, 2016 12.30pm – Unison Networks advised it has now conducted aerial patrols and while it still needs to await on a thorough assessment, damage to rural high country areas appears to be significant.

Across its network areas, there are currently around 500 customers still without power. The biggest areas impacted are those customers in Tutira (178 without power), and also the Taupo Plains (189 without power).

Smaller numbers of customers are off in Esk Valley (63), Puketitiri (12), Waipunga (47), and Patoka (25). For areas where access is not limited and safety is not being challenged, Unison’s focus will be to get those customers restored as soon as possible.

Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said after the apparent extensive damage to the rural areas, the Company was urging those customers to make preparations for the possibility of days without power.

“We continue to advise these customers to prepare for prolonged periods following what appears to be extensive damage to the network after Mother Nature battered the rural and high country areas.

“It will be an extensive restoration effort and we will have all crews dedicated to this once we ascertain the extent of the damage. We therefore urge those customers to make alternative arrangements, talk to their farming communities, and other support organisations to ensure they look after themselves and their stock.”

He said the team was very thankful for everyone’s patience throughout this restoration.

“We have been overwhelmed by everyone’s patience, and understanding of the impacts of the weather on our network.”

Customers can refer to Unison’s website for advice on getting through power outages and electrical safety: http://www.unison.co.nz/tell-me-about/safety. Updates are also available on its Facebook page.

Unison’s Network Withstands Overnight Wild Weather

Sunday 7 August, 2016 6.35am – Unison Networks this morning advised its network across Hawke’s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua held up generally well to the overnight weather, with no new outages occurring.

Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said about 200 customers in Tutira remained without power, as well as those still off in the Taupo Plains. About 40 customers were also still without power in the rural parts of Rotoma and Reporoa in Rotorua.

“As soon as morning light shows its face the team will be able to make way to these areas to patrol if it is clear and safe to do so.

“We continue to advise these customers to prepare for prolonged periods without power as snow, heavy rain and wind is battering the landscape, meaning safety is challenging the restoration efforts.

“We must always ensure it is safe for our team to carry out repairs. We appreciate the patience of these customers who remain without power, so thank you.”

He said helicopters were ready on standby for both Transpower and Unison to carry out fly overs in the Taupo Plains.

“We will have a better idea once daylight breaks whether the helicopters can also fly safely.

“We appreciate everyone's patience as Mother Nature rips across our network regions.”

Customers can refer to Unison’s website for advice on getting through power outages and electrical safety: http://www.unison.co.nz/tell-me-about/safety



Unison’s Advice to Customers Overnight

Saturday 6 August, 2016 5.45pm - Unison has restored electricity to the majority of the customers who lost power during the region-wide Transpower fault on Unison’s Hawke’s Bay network.

With nightfall approaching and conditions remaining challenging, the safety of the field crews remains paramount. Faultmen will continue to patrol for damage to the network, isolate where possible and ensure safety.

"At its peak we had nearly 60,000 customers without power, and the community response to this has been fantastic,” said Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“The messages of support flowing in via social media have been overwhelming, and very well received by those in the field. We really appreciate customers’ patience.

"With these wild conditions set to continue and snow impacting Transpower’s network, customers should prepare for further widespread outages continuing over the weekend.”

If outages occur through the middle of the night, he advised customers call 0800 2 UNISON in the first instance.

“Social media updates will resume in tandem with our crews at first light.” 

Customers can refer to Unison’s website for advice on getting through power outages and electrical safety: http://www.unison.co.nz/tell-me-about/safety

Tutira Customers to Prepare For No Power Overnight

Saturday 6 August, 2016 4.30pm – Around 390 customers in Tutira are being advised by Unison Networks to prepare for long periods without power as wild weather continues to hammer the network.

Unison has managed to get the majority of its customers back on following the second region-wide Transpower outage at around 10am. Those remaining without power are mainly in high country and rural areas, where access and weather is challenging the restoration.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough says, “The conditions are wreaking havoc on the network, bringing down power poles in the process.

“It is likely that power in Tutira could remain out overnight, and crews should have a better idea tomorrow morning about when we can restore power. In the meantime, we are advising these customers to prepare for long periods without power and thank them for their patience as we work to reconnect those who are experiencing no power.”

Customers can visit Unison’s Facebook page for regular updates on outages and restoration work: https://www.facebook.com/UnisonNetworks/

Unison’s advice to customers:

  • Remember that if the electricity network is damaged, it might take some time to get reconnected, so make sure you have a battery operated radio, a torch, spare batteries, and a full gas bottle for your BBQ as part of your emergency kit.
  • Check for fallen or damaged electricity lines. Never touch wires or lines lying on the ground, hanging from poles, or objects such as tree branches that may be touching them. Fallen lines or wires may still be carrying an electrical current and could shock, injure or even kill if touched. Unison is urging anyone who sees a power line down to call 0800 2 Unison.
  • Turn off the power at the main switch if you suspect any electrical damage in your home. If the power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances to prevent possible damage by a power surge when the electricity supply is restored.
  • Owners of homes and businesses that have suffered water damage must also be aware their property, and appliances within it, may also have electrical damage. Unison is advising people to engage a qualified electrician and to talk to their insurance provider.
  • Medically dependant customers are advised to prepare for the likelihood of no power and make alternative arrangements in advance.

Previous media updates:

Unison Advises Customers to Prepare for Further Outages

Saturday 6 August, 2016 4.20pm – As restoration work continues following a region-wide Transpower fault affecting Hawke’s Bay, Unison is urging customers to be prepared for the possibility of further outages.

“With this wild weather set to continue, our advice to customers is to do whatever is required to prepare for no power,” says Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“With a large number of customers having been restored following this morning’s event, now is the time to make sure you are equipped to cope in the event of another outage, or isolated outages.”

He said Unison’s website contained detailed advice which would help customers ensure they have covered all the necessary bases.

“The three most important questions customers need to be considering are; can I keep my family warm and fed? Do I have a source of light for night time? And, how will I keep in touch with important news updates?”

“Updates will continue via our social media platforms, and this is the best way to keep up to date.”

To prepare for further outages, Unison advises the following.

  • If you are medically dependant on electricity, activate your back-up plan, or call 111 if you are feeling unwell or have no alternative support plans in place.  Please ensure you have registered yourself as medically dependant with your electricity retailer - their contact number can be found on your power bill.
  • Keeping the gas bottle on your BBQ full will ensure you always have a cooking source in a power outage. Some fireplaces are also designed to be used as a hot plate, which provides another way to boil water or heat food.
  • Don’t forget to have spare food for your pets in your emergency kit. If you rely on electricity for heating, consider getting a portable gas heater with a full gas bottle as a back-up heat source.
  • Make sure you have plenty of warm blankets handy, wear extra clothing, and take all steps to conserve heat in your home by closing doors, windows and curtains, and using towels to block any drafts.
  • The best option is an all-weather torch with plenty of spare batteries. Candles are an option, but greatly increase the risk of fire, and with emergency services usually fully committed to life-saving operations during a crisis, it’s a risk best avoided.
  • A battery-operated or wind-up radio is the best way to keep informed when the power is out. Depending on the severity of the crisis, even radio networks can be affected, which makes it all the more important to have an emergency plan and kit at hand. Phone networks and cell towers can also be affected, so you may not be able to use your phone to call, text or check social media until these services are restored. Having a car charger for your phone is also a handy way to boost your battery while the electricity is out, plus you can listen to your radio if you don’t have one already.

Visit www.unison.co.nz/ /tell-me-about/safety/electricity-outages-be-prepared for more information.  

Restoration Update for Urban Hawke’s Bay

Saturday 6 August, 2016 4.05pm – Unison advises that customers in the Flaxmere area of Hawke’s Bay are still without power, and the team are working tirelessly to get that sorted as soon as possible.

This follows the second area-wide outage event at around 10am this morning caused by a fault on Transpower’s network which feeds Hawke’s Bay.

“Our restoration process is determined by Transpower. They are experiencing an issue with a switch that supplies Flaxmere, which needs to be sorted before Unison can get customers in the area back on,” said Mr Gough.

He reminded customers to remain vigilant with safety and to always treat lines as live, and to be prepared that the power can come on unexpectedly, so should be treated with caution.

Taupo Plains Customers to Prepare For Long Periods Without Power

Saturday 6 August, 2016 3.11pm – Around 200 customers in Taupo Plains are being advised by Unison Networks to prepare for long periods without power as wild weather continues to wreak havoc on the network.

Unison has managed to get the majority of its customers back on following the second region-wide Transpower outage at around 10am. Those remaining without power are mainly in high country and rural areas, where access and weather is challenging the restoration.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough says, “The weather has brought down power poles in Taupo Plains and NZTA have advised their graders won’t be back until tomorrow due to safety issues with the heavy snow, which limits our access.

“We should have a better idea tomorrow morning about when we can restore power. In the meantime, we are advising these customers to prepare for long periods without power and thank them for their patience as we work to reconnect those who are experiencing no power.”

Customers can visit Unison’s Facebook page for regular updates on outages and restoration work: https://www.facebook.com/UnisonNetworks/

Unison’s advice to customers:

  • Remember that if the electricity network is damaged, it might take some time to get reconnected, so make sure you have a battery operated radio, a torch, spare batteries, and a full gas bottle for your BBQ as part of your emergency kit.
  • Check for fallen or damaged electricity lines. Never touch wires or lines lying on the ground, hanging from poles, or objects such as tree branches that may be touching them. Fallen lines or wires may still be carrying an electrical current and could shock, injure or even kill if touched. Unison is urging anyone who sees a power line down to call 0800 2 Unison.
  • Turn off the power at the main switch if you suspect any electrical damage in your home. If the power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances to prevent possible damage by a power surge when the electricity supply is restored.
  • Owners of homes and businesses that have suffered water damage must also be aware their property, and appliances within it, may also have electrical damage. Unison is advising people to engage a qualified electrician and to talk to their insurance provider.
  • Medically dependant customers are advised to prepare for the likelihood of no power and make alternative arrangements in advance.

 
Unison Advises on Areas Still Affected by Region-wide Power Cut

Saturday 6 August, 2016 2.35pm – Small pockets of customers remain without power following the Transpower fault which affected Hawke’s Bay earlier this morning.

Customers in Flaxmere are still without power and our crew are patrolling and working with Transpower to plan restoration.

Customers in parts of rural Taradale are also without power, and as soon as crews assess the damage, Unison will have a clearer view on restoration plans.

“It’s very challenging conditions with snow, strong winds and heavy rain continuing to batter the region.

“Our crews are working hard to restore power to those areas that are still without power.”

He said customers should prepare for continued outages as this wild weather was set to continue for the weekend.

“There is a chance this may happen again, as well as weather related outages impacting the Unison network. Customers should always treat lines as live, and to be prepared that the power can come on unexpectedly, so should be treated with caution.” 

Unison Warns Customers to be Safe as Severe Weather Wreaks Havoc

Saturday 6 August, 2016 1.45pm – Following the region-wide Transpower fault on Unison’s Hawke’s Bay network, Unison is urging customers to prioritise the safety of themselves and others, as severe weather looks set to continue. 

“First and foremost, we want our customers to stay safe. Hawke’s Bay is being battered by severe weather, and this too resulted in Transpower’s fault, which supplies Hawke’s Bay.

“We ask customers to stay well away from fallen power lines and poles and the immediate area, to always treat lines as live.  Should live lines have fallen on objects like fences and trees on them, electrical currents can travel through them, so stay clear of the area until Unison or emergency services advise the area to be safe,” said Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“We are working to secure any damaged areas of the network that may pose a safety risk to the public, but we ask for customer’s vigilance at this time.”

He advised customers to prepare for prolonged periods without power as the wild weather was set to continue, and urged those who are medically dependant, to make alternative arrangements.

“Large pockets of customers across Hawke’s Bay are already experiencing power outages, and with the wild weather set to stick around, we are preparing for further outages throughout the day and night.

“Our crews are working hard to restore power to those areas that have already been affected by power outages.”

He said, however, in weather like this, it was “imperative we make sure it is safe for our team to carry out repairs, so we ask for our customers’ patience as we work to reconnect those who experience no power”.

Customers can visit Unison’s website (www.unison.co.nz/outages) for regular updates on outages and restoration work, as well as their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Unison’s advice to customers:

  • Check for fallen or damaged electricity lines. Never touch wires or lines lying on the ground, hanging from poles, or objects such as tree branches that may be touching them. Fallen lines or wires may still be carrying an electrical current and could shock, injure or even kill if touched. Unison is urging anyone who sees a power line down to call 0800 2 Unison.
  • Turn off the power at the main switch if you suspect any electrical damage in your home. If the power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances to prevent possible damage by a power surge when the electricity supply is restored.
  • Remember that if the electricity network is damaged, it might take some time to get reconnected, so make sure you have a battery operated radio, a torch, spare batteries, and a full gas bottle for your BBQ as part of your emergency kit.
  • Owners of homes and businesses that have suffered water damage must also be aware their property, and appliances within it, may also have electrical damage. Unison is advising people to engage a qualified electrician and to talk to their insurance provider.
  • Medically dependant customers are advised to prepare for the likelihood of no power and make alternative arrangements in advance.

Check Unison’s website (www.unison.co.nz/outages) for regular updates on outages, and/or Unison’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for further information on restoration work.

Unison Planning Contingencies

Saturday 6 August, 2016 1.00pm - With most parts of Hawke’s Bay now with power, Unison advises it has been reconfiguring its network  to provide for critical load capacity should a further region-wide outage occur on Transpower’s network.

“We have been working with Transpower so we can bring capacity in from their South Feed should further outages occur on their network, which supplies our region from Transpower’s Wairakei GXP.

“This contingency will only provide for critical loads however, so customers should prepare for outages with heavy snow impacting Transpower’s main supply and weather forecasts looking severe for the remainder of the weekend,” said Mr Gough.

Unison has managed to get the majority of its customers back on following the second region-wide Transpower outage at around 10am. Only isolated pockets remain in high country and rural areas, where access and weather is challenging the restoration.

Unison thanks its customers for their patience during this event affecting power to its region of Hawke’s Bay.

Most Areas Restored in Hawke’s Bay

Saturday 6 August, 2016 12.30pm – Most parts of Hawke’s Bay should now have power restored, with the majority of the restoration prrogramme complete following a second region-wide fault occurring after a Transpower fault occurred.

“We have managed to get the majority of our customers back on. However, those in Flaxmere, Bridge Pa, Irongate and parts of Havelock remain without power, as well as those in rural and high country areas.

“We are working to try and get back to full restoration as soon as possible.”

Mr Gough said the Hawke’s Bay region was fed from Transpower’s Wairakei GXP, where the fault occurred.

He reminded customers to remain vigilant with safety and to always treat lines as live, and to be prepared that the power can come on unexpectedly, so should be treated with caution.

Restoration Continues Across Hawke’s Bay

Saturday 6 August, 2016 12.15pm – Restoration continues across Hawke’s Bay following the second area-wide outage event at around 10am this morning.

Hastings and Napier CBD’s are now back on, as well as other parts across the region as Unison works with Transpower to progressively restore power.

“Customers in rural and high country areas should be prepared for longer periods without power as the heavy snow and challenging weather are resulting in access issues for our crews.”

Mr Gough said the Hawke’s Bay region was fed from Transpower’s Wairakei GXP, where the fault occurred.

He reminded customers to remain vigilant with safety and to always treat lines as live, and to be prepared that the power can come on unexpectedly, so should be treated with caution.”

Another Power Cut Hits Hawke’s Bay

Saturday 6 August, 2016 11.10am – Unison Networks has advised of a second region-wide power outage following a Transpower fault which supplies Hawke’s Bay.

Unison Networks’ Relationship Manager, Danny Gough, said Transpower suspects the outage is caused by similar reasons as the outage that hit this morning - snow loading damage between Taupo and Hawke’s Bay.

 “The second outage hit our region just after 10am this morning. Progressive restoration is now underway and our team is working alongside Transpower to get power restored as soon as possible in challenging conditions.”

Mr Gough said the Hawke’s Bay region was fed from Transpower’s Wairakei GXP, where the fault occurred.

He also said customers should prepare for continued outages as this wild weather was set to continue for the weekend.

“Our regions are being battered by severe weather, so customers should ensure they are prepared for outages across the network.

“Our crews will continue working hard to restore any power outages that occur over the weekend but, in weather like this, it is imperative we make sure it is safe for our team to carry out repairs.”

Power Cut Hits Hawke’s Bay

Saturday 6 August, 2016 – Unison Networks this morning advised of a power outage which affected the region following a Transpower fault which supplies Hawke’s Bay.

Unison Networks’ Relationship Manager, Danny Gough, said Transpower suspected the outage was caused by snow loading damage between Taupo and Hawke’s Bay.

“The outage hit our region just before 3am this morning, and the team worked with Transpower as they progressively restored power. Everyone was back on by about 5.30am.

“Transpower will confirm the cause of the outage once this wild weather clears, but snow damage is the suspected reason for the outage which hit Hawke’s Bay through the night. Transpower has advised their contractors will patrol during daylight to assess what the damage is, but the Napier-Taupo road was closed currently which would make that challenging.”

Mr Gough said the Hawke’s Bay region was fed from Transpower’s Wairakei GXP, where the fault occurred.

He also said customers should prepare for outages as this wild weather was set to continue for the weekend.

“Our regions are being battered by severe weather, and we currently have pockets of customers out across the Taupo Plains, Esk Valley and other smaller pockets of customers in Puketetri, Pohukura and Otamauri.

“Our crews will continue working hard to restore any power outages that occur over the weekend but, in weather like this, it is imperative we make sure it is safe for our team to carry out repairs, so we will be patrolling first to ensure it is always safe before network repairs commence.”

He said it was therefore timely for customers to prepare for power outages, and to ensure they always treat fallen lines as live, and to beware of falling poles and lines.

“As part of your household emergency kit, make sure you have a battery operated radio and torch, a full gas bottle for cooking on your BBQ, and if you rely on electricity for heating, we also recommend a portable gas heater.

First and foremost, be safe and never touch fallen power lines.”

 ENDS