Storm update: Concerted effort by crews sees most customers restored but challenging repairs for final few

January 05, 2018 08:08 AM

Saturday 6 January 2018, 4.00 pm – Unison crews in Rotorua have worked hard to get the remaining customers who lost power following the New Year storm reconnected today.

“It’s been a challenging day for crews so far in Rotorua with lots of work to get through,” said Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough.

“Our teams have managed to restore power to around 800 customers, but around 400 customers are still without.

“The teams will continue to work hard through until tonight. However, as they head in this evening we think there may be around 50 to 80 customers around Whangamoa Drive, Okataina Road and isolated pockets in largely remote areas that will be without power again overnight.”

Mr Gough said the main issue was the volume of work combined with the technically challenging nature of the repairs and the difficult terrain the crews have had to access.

“The severe weather and wind-borne material has taken a lot of lines down and the damage to the network has been significant.”

He also said some customers in Hawke’s Bay and Rotorua may be experiencing hot water issues.

“We understand how frustrating having no power and no hot water will be for the final few who are facing issues since the storm hit on Thursday evening.

“However, we are working as fast and as safely as we can to fix the damage from the storm and have brought in crews from other regions to help.”

Customers still without power are advised to check Unison’s list of outages for details including expected restoration time: www.unison.co.nz/outages.

Mr Gough said volumes through the call centre remained high but if customers were without power and not listed on the website, they should call 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476) to report it.

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For more information, contact:

Danny Gough
Unison Relationship Manager
021 739461

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Crews out restoring power to final 1,200 Rotorua customers 

Saturday 6 January 2018, 8.30am – Unison crews are out this morning making steady progress repairing the network and restoring power to approximately 1,200 customers without power in Rotorua following the New Year storm.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “After a huge effort yesterday from our crews in challenging conditions, we have managed to restore power to most customers affected by the storm.

“As of this morning, we have around 1,200 customers without power, mainly in the rural areas around the Rotorua region.

“Crews have been out since early this morning and the weather so far and forecast for the rest of today is encouraging. We are hopeful that we will have all customers back on by the end of today.”

Unison crews will be working in the following areas to restore power to the final customers without power:

  • Tarawera
  • Okere Falls
  • Rerewhakaaitu
  • Tikitere
  • Areas of State Highway 5 around Mamaku
  • Other areas with localised faults

“We know that it’s been a long time without power for our most affected customers and once again we really appreciate their patience and understanding as we work to fix the damage caused by this storm,” said Mr Gough.

Known outages and restoration times are listed on Unison’s outages page: https://www.unison.co.nz/outages. For updates with restoration times and to report a fault, customers should call 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476) or visit Unison’s outages page.

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For more information, contact:

Danny Gough
Unison Relationship Manager
021 739461

Power restored to Hawke’s Bay but severe weather hampers restoration efforts in the Central Region

Friday 5 January 2018, 5.45 pm - Power has been restored to all of Hawke’s Bay following today’s storm. However, around 2,000 customers in the Central Region will be facing a night without power as the storm continues to cause damage.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “Our crews in Rotorua and Taupo have done the best they can in the stormy conditions. But, it’s rough out there with strong winds bringing down trees and power lines.

“As the safety of our crews and the community remains our number one priority, crews will be heading in shortly to ensure their safety,” says Mr Gough.

“They will be out again at first light to begin further repair work. Customers currently without power in Rotorua and Taupo, in mainly rural areas, can expect to remain without power overnight unfortunately.”

All current outages listed on Unison’s website in the Taupo and Rotorua region will be affected, except for Mamaku where Unison hopes to restore power soon: https://www.unison.co.nz/outages

Unison’s emergency crew will continue to monitor damage to the network, isolate where possible and ensure safety on the network overnight.

Mr Gough reminded customers that with severe winds expected to continue until this evening, the possibility of further outages was likely.

“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. Any one coming across downed lines should keep well clear of them and call emergency services on 111 or Unison immediately.”

Mr Gough said Unison appreciates the support of its customers.

“We have had lots of messages of support today and we really appreciate that and the ongoing patience of our customers.”

If outages occur overnight and are not listed on the website, customers should call 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476) in the first instance or fill out the online outages form: https://www.unison.co.nz/outages.

The next update will be issued tomorrow morning.

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For more information, contact:

Danny Gough
Unison Relationship Manager
021 739461


Rotorua Customers to Prepare for Long Periods Without Power

1.30 PM - Around 3,300 customers in Rotorua are currently without power as a storm continues to hit the region.

With the severe weather warnings in place for Rotorua, Taupo and Hawke’s Bay, Unison is advising that further power outages are likely across all three regions.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “Our crews have made good progress restoring power in Hawke’s Bay following the first bout of weather-related power outages. We currently have around 100 customers in Hawke’s Bay without power.

“However, in Rotorua the weather has taken a turn for the worse and we are seeing an increase in power outages there. So far, damage in Taupo is minimal.”

Unison brought in extra crews in preparation for the storm and have crews from Horizon Networks heading to Rotorua to help with restoration. Currently the weather in Rotorua is challenging restoration efforts as safety for crews and the public remains the priority.

“We realise it’s a long day for those customers still without power and we should have a better idea this afternoon about when we can restore power. In the meantime, we are advising customers in Rotorua to prepare for long periods without power and thank them for their patience as we work to reconnect them.”

Since the storm hit Unison’s network at around 10pm last night, a total of around 12,300 customers across Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and Taupo have experienced power cuts.

Unison is encouraging people to keep updated via its website https://www.unison.co.nz/outages, its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UnisonNetworks/ or by calling 0800 2 UNISON.

For the latest severe weather warnings, visit http://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings 

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For more information, contact:

Danny Gough
Unison Relationship Manager
021 739461

Storm Causes Power Outages Across Unison’s Network

7.47 AM- Unison Networks is currently experiencing power outages across its network regions due to the severe weather.

Crews have been responding to power outages overnight, but with the rough weather expected to continue today Unison is advising customers to be prepared for further outages.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough says, “We’ve had a number of incidents overnight, largely with vegetation blowing into lines and high winds.

“In preparation for the weather, we have had extra crews on overnight who have been restoring power to customers as soon as they can. However, with the rough weather forecast to continue today, we are advising customers to be prepared for further power outages.

“In weather like this, it is imperative we make sure it is safe for our team to carry out repairs. So, we ask for our customers’ patience with restoration times.”

Known power outages are on Unison’s website: https://www.unison.co.nz/outages Customers are encouraged to visit the website or call 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476) to stay up to date.

During power outages, Unison regularly advises the following safety precautions:

• 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. If you see a power line down, call 0800 2 UNISON.

• Medically dependant customers should let their retailer know and be prepared for power disruptions. If there is an immediate health threat, they should contact their health provider or call 111.

• 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.

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For more information, contact:
Danny Gough
Unison Relationship Manager
021 739461