Cyclone Gabrielle causes major damage to electricity supply in Tūrangi area
14 February 2023
Customers in Tūrangi, Motuoapa, Tauranga-Taupo, Whareroa, Tokaanu, Mokai, Tirohanga, and Kuratau are urged to prepare to be without power for an extended length of time.
Our team were able to safely inspect the area by helicopter late this afternoon once flying conditions allowed. The inspection has revealed severe and critical damage to the network caused by the utter devastation of forestry in the area.
Due to the impact of high winds, the forestry sites are now extremely dangerous to access and restoring our electricity infrastructure will require a significant and highly coordinated effort from our crews, contractors, forestry workers and other agencies.
Those repairs are likely to include rebuilding lines supplying power to the area, as well as the replacement of transformers and other equipment. Our teams are working to safely plan, prepare for, and complete those repairs once it’s safe to do so.
Generators will be supplying power in the area north of Tūrangi and Tokaanu village later this evening.
However, we expect all other locations will be without power for an extended period – possibly multiple days – as our teams work with other organisations to safely plan, prepare for and complete repairs.
Until power can be restored, we recommend you have:
- A torch and spare batteries
- A full gas bottle so you can cook using your BBQ
- Some cash as EFTPOS machines rely on power
- Candles and matches – make sure you never light candles near curtains or leave them unattended
- A battery-operated radio
- A fully charged cellphone OR fully charged power bank
- A full tank of petrol in your vehicle
- Bottled water per person – you should keep this in your freezer so it’s fresh
We also recommend keeping fridges and freezers closed, and eating the food from your refrigerator first, then items from your freezer.
It is very important that anyone who is medically dependent on electricity is ready and able to enact their own emergency plan.
Our call centre continues to receive an unprecedented volume of calls and we ask people to check the latest outage information at thelinescompany.co.nz if they’re calling to get an update on their outage situation. If an outage hasn’t been reported, please phone through to our faults team on 0800 367 328. The outage information displayed on our website is the most up-to-date information we have available.
Once we have the full picture regarding likely restoration of power to specific areas, we will provide further updates here.
We’re prioritising essential services such as water, wastewater, communications, hospitals, food and fuel stations, and after that restoring the larger groups of customers affected.
Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide accurate restoration timelines until we’ve finished assessing the damage to the network.
Please be assured our team are working with urgency to manage and improve the situation for everyone affected – with the safety of the public and our crews our number one priority.
Please check on those in your neighbourhood that are vulnerable or live by themselves to make sure they have everything they need. Thank you for your patience.