Unison crews have worked hard this morning to reconnect customers who lost power following the flooding in Napier yesterday.
Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough, said crews have restored power to over 2,000 homes and businesses this morning, and are working methodically to restore the remaining 840 customers where it is safe to do so.
“We have made good progress so far, however we are now getting down to the areas which are still affected by flooding, so our task becomes more challenging. The safety of the public and our crews remains paramount and we are working with authorities to ensure safe practice.
“Our crews are now working in the worst affected areas and given the level of the floodwaters that may have reached into some homes, they will also complete visual inspections of affected properties’ service mains, switchboard and wiring, to ensure we can restore power safely.
“In some instances, these checks can obviously only occur if people are home. If no one appears to be home, and we think there is an issue with the mains supply, we will leave the mains switched off. Customers who return home and find their mains switched off are asked to contact Unison’s 24/7 fault line on 0800 2 86476, to ensure it is safe to have power restored to their property.
“We fully understand that people are anxious to get their power restored, so we ask that they continue to bear with us as we go about our task as quickly and as safely as possible. We thank our customers for their ongoing patience and please rest assured our crews will still attend to any emergency situations if required.
“We do however remind people to be vigilant around Unison assets. Please stay clear of any assets that are surrounded by water, or in water. Even though these assets have been de-energised, please treat them as live at all times,” said Danny.
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. 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.
• Medically dependant customers are advised to prepare for the likelihood of no power and make alternative arrangements in advance.
For updates, customers are encouraged to check the website in the first instance unison.co.nz/outages, or to call 0800 2 UNISON (0800 286476).