Branches heavy enough to crush cars and buildings, roofing iron ripped off and blown at speeds faster than the limit on our open roads, just a taste of what the network of powerlines and powerpoles across Auckland faced on Tuesday night as hurricane force winds hit Auckland with gusts over 200km/h.
Energy companies were given a heads up but there isn’t much you can do ahead of forecast severe wind event other than prepare your staff for the repairs and clean up.
Vector CEO Simon MacKenzie personally reached out to WeatherWatch.co.nz to share what they are doing at the moment to get the city back up and running powerwise. The job ahead for Vector is a big one with a massive amount of trees down, powerlines down and people to reconnect. So we asked Simon just where on earth do they start from.
It’s fairly straight forward. Priority is given to outages in areas near hospitals first. Then it’s water pumping stations, traffic lights, central business areas and other key infrastructure points. This is why some suburbs have had power restored while one street over may not. So if you live near a hospital your power will return the fastest, basically.
On top of that Vector has been flying helicopters over the region to speed up finding problem areas, trees down etc.
While it can be incredibly frustrating to not have electricity this is the reality of winds this strong. In our view the massive power outages are not as a result of poor infrastructure, rather the winds were simply at a level that trees cannot stay upright without breaking or blowing over. Underground cabling is becoming more common and that minimises cuts – but it all costs to do this.
Other first world cities like New York and Toronto have the exact same problems when the weather turns extra nasty.
In tough conditions the crew at Vector are doing a remarkable job this week. There will be a smaller group of people who may still have days to go before being reconnected. If you have urgent health issues please reach out to Vector and if an emergency dial 111.
WeatherWatch.co.nz continues to work with Vector to better prepare for such events but, as we said to Simon at Vector, there are some events where the main focus is simply protecting lives and property ahead of keeping the power on.
on 13/04/2018 9:51pm
The crews from Vector are heroes in my book!
We are still without power but such is life in an event like this.
In the 14 years we have been on the property in Swanson, this would be the scariest winds that we have experienced and looking at the damage in and around our area I’m not at all surprised at how long it’s taking to get everyone re powered.
on 13/04/2018 9:12pm
A huge area Vector has to cover! Vector communications very helpful too.
A big thank you to all helping & reaching out to help those in dire need!