The effects of Cyclone Gabrielle are still being felt as network monitoring has revealed two poles on the main line between Kaikohe and Kaitaia have been affected by ground movements. Failure of either of these structures could result in a loss of supply to the 10,000 customers in the northern part of the Top Energy network.
Top Energy Chief Executive Russell Shaw says assessments show the immediate risk is low, and the company has in place contingency plans while long term repairs plans are finalised. Dates and times for the repairs will be notified.
Mr Shaw assures the community that back up generation is in place to support its northern network in the unlikely event of further ground destabilisation before the pole repairs can be completed.
“We want people to understand the potential risks, how they are being managed by the company with back generators and what steps they can take to prepare for unplanned outages.”
However, Mr Shaw emphasised that while back up generation could maintain supply if required, he asks that in such an event that people are conservative with their power use.
“There is always a risk when the generators are used that they could become overloaded and cause a wider spread outage. They provide us with an interim solution while the network is repaired.”
Mr Shaw appreciates this information about potential outages will not be welcome by the community.
“We know it has been a tough time for many people who were without power for an extended time. No electricity network company can guarantee 100% power, particularly when dealing with issues outside of our control.”
“Always be prepared for outages and have a backup plan. We will always do our best to restore power as quickly as we can, but sometimes events such as Cycle Gabrielle make it extremely difficult.”
Mr Shaw recommends that people subscribe to Top Energy’s Outage App, and if an unexpected loss of power occurs turn off unnecessary equipment and loads, have plenty of drinking water stored, keep your BBQ gas cylinder and petrol tanks full, and if reliant on electricity for medical support equipment to contact your medical provider for advice.
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