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UPDATE: Thousands without power in Chch – and it could be for days

Christchurch residents could be without power for up to four more days following the storm which is sweeping the country.

Canterbury lines company Orion says progress to restore the electricity supply continues this morning.

Power remains out to 11,000 Orion customers after strong winds on Tuesday night affected the supply across the electricity distribution network.

Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson said today areas without power were predominantly in the rural region west of Christchurch.

“Our crews are already out working, and we hope to continue to make good progress today in restoring power.

“Overnight we managed to restore power to another 4000 customers. Our staff and contractors did a great job yesterday in restoring power to 60 per cent of the 28,000 customers who lost power on Tuesday night.”

Crews were working as quickly as they safely could, Mr Jamieson said.

“It is possible that some customers could be without power for up to four more days.

“However, until access allows us to determine the full extent of the repairs required we’re unable to give more precise details on this.”

Anyone who sees a fallen power line, or a tree on a power line, is advised to stay well clear and call Orion immediately on 0800 363 9898.


Wild wind in Wellington knocked out power for some 1600 households last night, while airlines are today working to clear a backlog of flights after disruptions yesterday.

A Wellington Electricity spokesman said yesterday’s storm caused power outages in the suburb of Johnsonville as well as further north in Plimmerton.

About 1600 customers were without electricity but it was restored by midnight.

There were also outages for about 90 customers in the isolated coastal community of Makara, where power cuts can occur several times a year.

A Wellington airport spokesman said nearly all flights in and out of the airport were “operational” today. “The terminal is no busier than usual.”

A Jetstar spokesman said it was hoped the backlog of travellers would be cleared by later this morning.

Flights today are not delayed, he said.

“We’re back on track.”

An Air New Zealand spokesman said the high winds caused the cancellation of 23 return flights in and out of the capital yesterday.

“It’s anticipated that all affected passengers will be accommodated on services throughout the day,” he said.

Passengers were advised to check Air NZ’s website for updated schedule information or call the contact centre.


Canterbury farmers have issued a rallying call for generators, as power cuts halt milking and leave stock without access to water.

Federated Farmers’ adverse events spokeswoman Katie Milne said farmers without power needed generators to milk cows and pump drinking water to stock.

“We definitely still at this stage are looking for generators.”

Power cuts were estimated to last up to five days in some cases, Ms Milne said. “At the moment there’s still plenty of need.”

When the storm tore through Canterbury on Tuesday it demolished sheds, tipped over irrigators and silos and brought trees down over power lines.

Federated Farmers has been working with the Rural Support Trust in the South Island to coordinate a response to the storm.

Ms Milne said they were particularly concerned about animal welfare, as cows are coming up to their peak milk production.

Power outages would also affect dairy companies’ collection times from farms, she said.

Federated Farmers had activated a helpline on 0800 327 646 for farmers to communicate who had access to generators and who needed them.


Waimakariri District Council is still asking some areas to conserve water as power cuts continue to cause issues with pump stations.

North Canterbury was one of the worst hit in yesterday’s extreme gusts. There was widespread damage across the region.

Manager of Utilities and Roading Gerard Cleary said the power cuts were still affecting some of their pump stations, so they were asking people in Woodend, Oxford and Waikuku to conserve water.

He said that helps keep the pressure of the sewage system.


The Milford road in Fiordland is like to have 5 to 10 centimetres of snow settle on it above 700 metres this morning. There will be lighter falls to 400 metres.

Snow should ease by late morning, but light snow showers are possible through tomorrow afternoon before clearing tomorrow evening.

-Pictures: NZ Herald

-APNZ/NZ Herald


Brian Foster on 4/10/2013 9:53am

The sewage bond money must be preserved and protected for future use or emergency use including the electrical, haendiges plumbing, wiring as well as other water system matter in the place.

Cameron on 12/09/2013 2:24am

Thanks for putting the larger pictures on the page with the article, instead of just the home page. Much more professional!


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