Unison Networks is asking customers to prepare for strong winds and potential power cuts as Cyclone Cook passes over its network regions.
Severe weather warnings are in place for Taupo and Rotorua and a severe weather watch is in place for Hawke’s Bay.
The heavy rain that is already falling over parts the country is expected to continue into Thursday or even Friday in some parts of the country; and severe gales with gusts of over 150 km/h or more are expected from Thursday afternoon.
Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “Although Cyclone Cook is supposed to be fast-moving, it’s forecast to be very destructive. So, our advice is very much to be prepared. Its impact could also be greater due to the ground already being sodden from recent extreme rainfall, increasing the potential for flooding, trees falling and damage to powerlines.”
Unison will have extra crews on stand-by in preparation, but is also urging customers to ensure they are prepared for potentially long periods without power.
“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,” says Danny.
Danny said outdoor objects such furniture, trampolines and other loose items should be securely fixed to the ground.
He said people should call Unison on 0800 2 UNISON for emergencies such as trees in power lines or lines down.
“Never touch wires or lines lying on the ground, hanging from poles, or objects such as trees that may be touching them. Treat downed lines as live and stay clear of them at all times.”
Customers wanting information about power cuts can go to www.unison.co.nz/outages or contact their electricity retailer in Taupo and Rotorua, and Unison in Hawke’s Bay. For updates on the storm, follow MetService New Zealand, and heed the advice of your local authority and Civil Defence.
Should the power go out, Unison also advises the following safety precautions:
- If you are medically dependent, in the event of a power outage, 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.
- 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 may take a number of hours to be reconnected, so make sure you have your household emergency kit ready.