Crews prepare for wet and wild weather

22 Feb 2019

Electricity network companies around the upper North Island are preparing for a wet and windy weekend, with many committing to send back up crews to areas that may need additional restoration support.

Upper North Island electricity lines companies include Northpower, WEL Networks, The Lines Company, Counties Power, TOP Energy and Vector.

WeatherWatch expert Philip Duncan says although Cyclone Oma’s path has now turned away from New Zealand, a new low will begin to form to the east of the country which is likely to make this weekend a wet and windy one for many.

“Plenty of rain and high winds are likely across the country with Central New Zealand, the Southern Alps and large parts of the North Island looking like they will wear the worst of it.

“Parts of Auckland are likely to experience strong winds of up to 50km per hour, while parts of the South Island and Central New Zealand could see gusts more than double that.

“We are no longer staring down the barrel of a cyclone, but this new weather system could still cause some mischief this weekend, so we’re urging people to take the appropriate precautions,” Philip said.

Upper North Island lines companies want the public to stay aware of the potential hazards strong winds and rain can create throughout the country.

Trees and branches crashing into lines and cars colliding with power poles in the wet are both possibilities until the worst of the weather passes later next week.

People are being asked to put garden furniture and trampolines away, as well as any loose material around the garden such as tarpaulins, as these all have the potential to be hazardous during the storm.

Although lines mechanics are trained to work in all weather conditions and at any hour, there may be circumstances during which it is unsafe for them to begin or continue working to fix outages.

During a power outage, crews will work as quickly as they can to restore power, but please remember that the safety of the public and lines mechanics is of primary importance at all times. And most importantly, please, always treat downed lines as live and stay well clear.