As we work through our fault restoration process around the network, we are continuing to find new High Voltage faults which are slowing our efforts to restore power to many customers.
If you are still without power and have not called in a fault to 0800 867 363, please do so. You may have a fault on our Low Voltage system or your service main that we don’t know about. If you have already called we will get to you as soon as we can.
We are also currently calling back all customers who reported a fault to check whether your fault has been resolved or not, and to let you know that we haven’t forgotten you. So if you have logged a fault a few times, you might get more than one call as we work through the lists.
Update 20 February - 9.00am
Our crews are back out and we again hope to make progress today. There are currently 503 customers without power down from a peak of 16,000.
The work areas for today are: Awaroa, Waiomio, Opononi, Otaua, Mata Road, Ruapekapeka, Waiere Road, Papaonga, Kohukohu, Herekino.
We also have a crew on safety issues, so if you see something unsafe, please report it through our Faultline on 0800 867 363 and we will send them out to make it safe.
It’s been over a week now since the full force of Cycle Gabrielle hit the Far North. We are seeing most of the damage to our network in the West, with multiple trees on lines requiring total line rebuilds in some areas, some with difficult access. Our crews are working hard to get poles, transformers and lines replaced to make the HV network stable.
For those of you who with damaged service lines or with individual faults, please know that we haven’t forgotten you. We are systematically working through the network restoring power to as many properties as we can. If you have rung through your fault we will have it in our system.
Please be patient with our call staff – this is an unprecedented event and call volumes have at times overwhelmed the system.
We know this situation is taking its toll. If you need assistance or have any welfare issues please contact your district council and follow updates from Civil Defence Northland.
It has been a week since Cyclone Gabrielle hit our region – we know it feels a lot longer!
There are now 529 customers without power - steady progress but little comfort for those now up to a full week without power.
We are still working in the following areas: • Opononi • Towai • Rangiahua• Kohukohu• Panguru
Power was restored to Tapeka Point and Long Beach Russell earlier today. We have been getting queries from some customers concerned their power is not on, but their neighbours have been restored.
Or that their power has come on to then go off again.
During restoration we need to sometimes deenergise an area to make it safe for the crews to complete their repairs on other parts of that line. We cannot have them working in a live environment – it is too unsafe.
Keeping our team safe while maximising the number of customers being restored is a priority in our restoration efforts.
The other issue we have mentioned is damaged service lines – which we cannot see on our outage map, and you need to log a call.
Please be patient with our call staff – this is an unprecedented event and call volumes have at times overwhelmed the system.
We know this situation is taking its toll.
If you need assistance or have any welfare issues please contact your district council and follow updates from Civil Defence Northland
Update 19 February - 8.15am
We made good progress yesterday and we are now under 1,000 customers without power with 787 to be restored.
Our efforts are focused in the following areas: • Opononi • Towai • Rangiahua• Kohukohu• Panguru• Tapeka Point• Long Beach Russell
We are getting calls from people concerned that power is restored in their area, but they still are not connected.
This is likely due to damaged service lines. This is a private line that connects you to the Top Energy network. Don’t worry we will get to you and your calls have been logged in our system. Our outage centre will not show every house that is without power. It shows our network but not your service lines – we do not have that visibility.
If you haven’t done so you will still need to call us on 0800 867 363 to log a call.
Update 18 February - 6.00pm
To date we have 902 customers still without power, so we are making some good progress.
The crews from Scanpower and Connetics will certainly speed up our ability to get to everyone quicker and they are already making a huge difference. We’re incredibly grateful that our industry is so supportive and quick to offer assistance.
However, for some of you, it has been a long 6 days without power, and we understand how frustrating and difficult that is. Please know that we haven’t forgotten about you and that we are doing everything we can to get to your fault.
Some of you may be worried that your fault is not showing on our outage map. This is because our outage map does not show Low Voltage outages, only High Voltage outages. If you have rung your fault through to our faultline, we ARE aware of it and it IS on our list of jobs to get to.
If you see lines on the ground or tangled in trees, please don’t try to clear any vegetation yourself. The line could be live. Keep yourself safe, leave them alone and let us know by ringing our faultline on 0800867363.
Update 18 February - 8.10am
Our crews are back out, and we hope to make good progress today – there are currently 1236 customers without power down from a peak of 16,000.
The work areas for today are RangiahuaOpononi, Horeke, Mataraua, Waima, Fern Flat, Henderson Bay Road Imms Road.
The vegetation team have had a mammoth task to remove fallen trees to clear the way for the lines mechanics – particularly in the Hokianga area.
Many of you will still be without power in areas where we have restored. This may be due to damaged services lines – this is a private line that connects you to the Top Energy network. Don’t worry we will get to you and your calls have been logged in our system.
Our outage centre will not show every house that is without power. It shows our network but not your services lines – we do not have that visibility.
f you haven’t done so you will still need to call us on 0800 867 363 to log a call. If you see downed lines or a safer issue, you need to ring it through to our fault line.
Please don’t email or FB message it through - our operations team don’t have visibility through those channels. And remember - treat all lines as live.
We know there are many of you that have been without power since the start of the cyclone and we are restoring power as fast as we can.
Update Friday 17 February - 5.15pm
This morning our GM Network Ian Robertson welcomed Christchurch line mechanics from Connetics.
They will be out over the weekend helping to get the network repaired.
The rest of the team drove from Whenuapai bringing with them two fully equipped double cab 4WD Utes including ladders.
Following helicopter and foot patrols we can see where the worst damage to the network is and prioritise repairs and identify the equipment needed.
The worst affected areas remain the Hokianga and the southern area of the network.
Work has been prioritised to get the most customers back on supply. This has meant cutting away some damaged sections of the network. Customers without power have roughly halved each day since Tuesday, however the speed of restoration will slow as the work becomes more complex and difficult. This is why it is crucial to reinforce the teams with extra line mechanics.
Update 17 February - 2.45pm
We have around 2,266 customers without power. You will see from the outage map below that the larger outages are mainly concentrated in the Hokianga and southern area of our network with pockets around the rest of the network.
Access to many sites has been extremely difficult, and it is taking time to ensure conductors are isolated and made safe to remove the vegetation and reinstate broken equipment.
We have vegetation crews and lines mechanics working there now but it could still be several days for some areas.
Remember to treat lines as live at all times and check out the outage centre on our website.
Update Friday 17 February - 11.45am
We have dispatched a helicopter to survey some of the most damage to our lines and to find further damage that we haven't been able to find by foot.
Areas to be flown over today are: Kokukohu, Motukaraka, Motukiore, Horeke, South Hokianga, Taheke to Waimamaku, Umawera to Mangamuka and surrounding areas.
Please be aware that this helicopter will be flying low over the powerlines, so if you can, move stock and horses out of the immediate area of powerlines.
Update Friday 17 February - 9.30 am
Morning all, we managed to get another 1000 customers connected yesterday. There are still 2750 still without power with 2/3 of these in the Hokianga which has suffered a lot of damage.
Our biggest issue is trees - one power line had 13 trees bring it down which need to be removed before the repairs can get underway.
It all takes time. We are bringing additional resources into the field but there are areas that are still difficult to reach. We will let you know how restoration is going and please treat all lines as live at all times.
There are 3,770 customers without power – down from 7,500 at the close of the day yesterday. Over the last few days, we have managed to restore around 11,000 customers. And if you live on the Karikari peninsula, we have restored your power over 8 times now.
We will make further progress today with the additional crews on board.
We fully acknowledge the frustration that many may be feeling – particularly now that the weather has improved.
But please bear with us.
When we are dealing with a situation of this magnitude, there are priorities in how we restore power. Our main goal is to work as safely as possible to restore power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest time possible. This means power restoration to the Hokianga has been particularly challenging as trees were still falling on Tuesday, and many of the roads were blocked. We had the same trouble on the Cape, where we could only complete repairs yesterday.
We prioritise the restoration of power to critical infrastructure such as hospitals, airports, water plants and sewage plants. We then prioritise repairs to main lines (high voltage lines), and equipment (substations) that will restore the most power to as many customers as possible at once.
Next, we restore individual transformers and smaller lines (low voltage lines) to individual homes and businesses. Please note that we can’t fix an individual problem until the main lines and equipment are restored. In severe storms with widespread damage, it may take us a few days just to physically assess damage and restore power. In these cases, separate crews are used to manage assessment and repair works.
Yesterday we patrolled the network with a helicopter to help us assess damage and prioritise repairs (images below). This also helps us to know what gear to bring with us to complete the repairs. We don’t want to drive two hours to a site to then have to return to get more poles and equipment. If a Top Energy truck leaves your neighbourhood before your power is back on, please know that we are not ignoring your problem.
We have a helicopter monitoring our network - 110kV lines (purple line) and our 33kV line (black lines) to assess the damage to the network from 10.30am to 3pm.
Please don’t be alarmed if you see a low-flying helicopter. We apologise for any concern this may cause and any distress if may cause to stock or horses. You may wish to relocate your animals during this time but appreciate the conditions may prevent this.
Update Wednesday 15 February - 9.30 am
There is a major outage on the chorus network with a cut fibre north of Whangarei. This is affecting mobile and fibre internet services. Only customers on the copper network can contact our call centre. Spark advises the fibre should be repaired mid to late morning.
Update Wednesday 15 February 2023 - 9.00am
It is a huge relief that the weather is cleared and the winds have dropped and we can now safely work on repairing the network.
We currently have around 6000 customers without power. Crews are back out, and we are grateful to have the extra hands of Scanpower and other contractors helping to repair damaged equipment – fallen poles, broken lines, transformers and flooded substations.
We are heading to Pukenui this morning where 1000 customers are without power. While the storm has cleared, there is still a huge task ahead of us. This is an integrated effort with other agencies as roads are cleared, and fallen trees removed to reach communities in great need after days without power.
Assessing the full damage to the network will take several days. Power will be restored progressively as we repair the backbone of the network. This means you may see that some of your neighbours have power back on and you don’t. The reason may be that you receive power from a different feeder, or your service line is damaged – this connects your property to the electricity network.
Please continue to check our outage centre and Civil Defence Northland. We are still operating under a State of Emergency and all agencies are committed to restoring services to our community.
Update Tuesday 14 February 2023 - 6.00 pm
Top Energy expects to restore 6,500 customers before finishing for the day. This leaves 7,500 remaining without power. It has been a challenging day compounded by difficult and often treacherous access into the remote areas of our network.
Some areas we have not been able to access at all. While able to get many customers back around the towns there are some sections of the network that have now been without power for three days; this is likely to go into the weekend and beyond.
While the Cyclone is moving out of the area, wind gusts over 100km an hour are impeding progress. After three very full days working in extremely challenging conditions crews are getting tired, and we need to manage fatigue.
Additional field resources will be available tomorrow and we expect to make more headway as the power of the storm diminishes.
We continue to work with Civil Defence Northland and other life lines companies to reach areas of the community suffering hardship and loss of power to get the power on as soon as we can.
Update Tuesday 14 February - 12.40 pm
As we enter day three of Cyclone Gabrielle we are acutely aware of the impact of the storm on the community and the lines mechanics and vegetation teams working to restore power.
Our biggest issue is access to rural and remote areas which have been cut off by flooding and fallen trees. We know people are having a hard time and this storm is testing their resilience.
The number of outages we are dealing with fluctuates as the winds change – we went from 14,000 homes off Sunday night to under 5,000 during the day on Monday then to rise again overnight to 14,000 this morning. We are grateful for the patience and determination shown by our community but there is some hard work ahead and the repair job will not be a quick one.
Fatigue is a concern and additional support crews from Dannevirke electricity distribution company Scanpower and Northpower Central Region have been stranded south of Whangarei due to the flooding. Conditions allowing, we hope to have them working in the field tomorrow morning which will help take some of the pressure off our team.
In addition, we have requested support from Civil Defence to transport 15 Line Mechanics from Christchurch to speed up our repair efforts.
Check the outage centre on the Top Energy website or download the Top Energy outage app, or log a call with 0800 867 363. Please follow Civil Defence Northland for updates
Update Tuesday 14 February - 7.30 am
Morning all, It has been a very rough night and there is widespread damage across our entire network. We hope you managed to stay dry and safe as this storm is taking its toll on our region. We know everyone is getting tired and there is still a way to go before the Cyclone blows itself out. There are 14000 customers without power and crews are heading out now to assess the damage. Northpower has also sustained extensive damage to its network with 30,000 customers without power – around
half of its network. It is very likely that power will not be restored to the majority of our network today. Please be prepared for extended periods without power. If you need information, assistance or to report urgent cyclone related issues, contact the Far North District Council on 0800 920 029, or follow Civil Defence Northland for updates.
Update Monday 13 February - 7.00 pm
Evening all Never before have we dealt with such a fluid and dynamic range of outages on our network in such a short period of time.
As we clear fallen trees from one section, more will come down as we move onto the next section – creating a cascade of outages. This is particularly on the western side the network right now. As we get ready to stand down for the night there are nearly 10,000 people without power.
Power will not be restored until our crews return in the morning and assess the damage.
We will respond to emergency calls to make lines safe. However, in some areas outages will not be repaired by the end of the week or possibly into the weekend. Expect more of the same tomorrow as Gabrielle moves through the region with strong gusts up to 100km plus during the night.
We hope for some respite later this week to focus on the repairs to the network.
We are dealing with a dynamic situation as the Cyclone begins to really impact the western part of our network as the southwestern flows develop to extreme levels again. We are receiving reports of trees and lines down in Opononi and Omapere.
We would like to remind everyone of the importance of staying well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and to treat them as live at all times.
We are down to about 5,500 customers off supply from 14,000 at 4 am this morning. We are progressively restoring supplies, but the conditions make this slow going.
We are expecting this number to rise again as the weather pattern moves around and winds start to rise again overnight and tomorrow morning.
Those affected by outages on the network will continue to be without power over the coming days and in some cases into the weekend. We know this is a tough time for the community as Gabrielle tracks through Northland.
If you need information, or assistance or to report urgent cyclone-related issues, contact the Far North District Council on 0800 920 029, or follow Civil Defence Northland
Update Monday 13 February - 12.00 pm
We are grateful for the support being offered by other lines companies and ex-employees as we prepare for several days without power. Additional vegetation contractors are now helping to clear fallen trees and debris from the network.
But damage is extensive with lines down, broken poles, fallen trees and slips. We are bracing for worse weather to come with winds and heavy rains buffeting all sides of the network.
We would like to remind everyone of the importance of staying well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment, and to treat them as live at all times.
If you need information, assistance or to report urgent cyclone related issues, contact the Far North District Council on 0800 920 029, or follow Civil Defence Northland for updates.
Update 13 February - 7.38am
It has been a rough night and our network continues to be battered with widespread outages across the region.
Wind gusts of 140km/h, Fire and Emergency has responded overnight to several fallen trees and to downed power lines with our staff. A small number of roofs lifting, and sheds being blown down.
We are preparing for the long haul; we expect this weather to continue for at least another 48 hours and that it will impact our whole network.
Crews are heading out now to assess the damage and start repairs we will provide updates as more information comes back from the field.
At close of day yesterday there were 4000 customers without power, overnight this rose to 14,000 and we have around 10,500 off supply now.
Our neighbouring lines company Northpower has also been significantly impacted and the whole of Northland is dealing with the prospect of prolonged outages.
Northland has taken a real hammering and it will take us a number of days to fully restore supplies.
Evening everyone. This will be our last update for the day, but we will be back in the morning with the latest information. Our crews have been stood down for the night due to the extreme weather and darkness. We will only respond overnight to emergency calls to make lines safe.
If you are without power it will not be restored until our crews return tomorrow and can assess the damage. We cannot give you an accurate estimate of restoration until the damage to the network has been assessed and a restoration plan is in place.
Bear with us while we work to restore the network under these very challenging conditions and please continue to report any unsafe situations to our Faultline 0800 867 363.
Thanks for your patience and please be prepared for several days of power interruptions. T
ake care of yourselves, your family and check on your neighbours and follow the guidance of Civil Defence Northland.
Update Sunday 12 February - 5.50pm
We hope you are safe and dry as a state of emergency has now been declared in Northland.
We are experiencing widespread outages on the network as Cyclone Gabrielle takes its toll on the region with over 5000 customers without power. This number will increase over the coming days as Cyclone Gabrielle tracks closer to New Zealand.
We have rostered on additional staff to help with the response in the field and our head office, but crews will be stood down as we move into the evening.
It would be unsafe to continue in these conditions. We will reassess in the morning for when work can safely resume, and our crews have rested. Managing fatigue over the coming days is critical.
In many places access has been hindered by trees and debris and we cannot reach remote areas. We have broken poles and lines down in multiple sites – mainly caused by fallen trees.
At this stage we cannot give you an accurate estimate of when power will be restored.
Our priority is to repair the backbone of the network to get as many customers back on as quickly as possible including townships, farms, community centres and cell towers.
Please be prepared for prolonged outages over several days.
Download the Top Energy Outage App to stay informed.• Have a rechargeable torch and power bank handy to keep smartphones or tablets charged.
Store drinking water and keep a container of water around the house for flushing toilets if on tank water.
Keep BBQ gas cylinders and your petrol tanks full. Remember pumps and EFTPOS won’t work if the power goes off.
Wrap freezers in duvets, blankets or some form of insulation if possible.
If you have a medical condition that is dependent on electricity you need to contact your health provider and activate your emergency plan.
Please continue to follow @CivildDefenceNorthland for updates and the MetService.
Update 12 February - 1.00pm
Images are starting to come through from our crews showing some of the damage to the network. These are from Waima Hill, and Turk Valley Road.
Update Sunday 12 February - 12.30pm
We are working alongside Civil Defence Northland and other critical service agencies as the extreme weather continues to hit our region.
Given the conditions and expected duration of the storm, it is highly likely that there will be extensive damage to our network resulting in prolonged outages.
We have not yet experienced the full brunt of the storm with the full force expected to hit Monday and Tuesday. Red Alerts for Heavy Rain and Wind are in place.
Please be prepared to be without power for some time and take all precautions to ensure you are safe during the cyclone.
Our crews are still in the field and will continue working until evening unless conditions become too unsafe.
Keep an eye on our outage centre which will provide the latest information and please stay safe.