Unison crews have worked hard throughout the day to reconnect customers following the flooding in Napier yesterday, however some areas need to be prepared to face a further night without power.
Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough, said while flood waters are slowly subsiding allowing crews access to Unison assets, flood damage is proving more challenging than expected.
“The depth of the water in some areas has damaged our high voltage assets, such as transformers and switch units. Our process is to inspect, clean, repair and then once deemed safe, liven these assets – which unfortunately is proving to be a hard slog, and of course we can only commence this process once the water has subsided.
“While our crews are doing all they can, and will be working into the night for as long as it is safe to do so, it is highly likely that we may not get everyone connected this evening given that we currently have over 800 customers still without power.
“We ask customers who are currently without power, to prepare to be without power again overnight. These customers are encouraged by Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence to stay with family and friends, or if this isn’t possible, please call the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence help line on 0800 422 923 for assistance.
“And unfortunately, if there is further flooding tonight due to the forecast rain, customers in the wider Napier region should also be prepared to be without power, so we advise customer to be vigilant and have their emergency plans ready to go.
“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.
“The safety of the public and our crews remains paramount and we continue to work with authorities to ensure safe practice. Rest assured our crews will still attend to any emergency situations if required,” said Danny.
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).