New Zealand networks recover from snowstorm

Unison Networks has reconnected customers to the network following the worst storm-related damage the lines company has seen in more than a decade.

Hundreds of Taupo Plains residents were been left without power in freezing conditions after Saturday’s snowstorm. Heavy snow initially left about 500 homes without power and wreaked havoc on powerlines. Roads, including the Napier to Taupo highway, were closed roads and buried in up to 1m of snow.

Unison crews replaced more than 200 poles, with relationship manager Danny Gough saying the weight of the snow pushed poles to the ground, broke and twisted infrastructure, and snapped lines.

“Early this week we have been focussed on reconnecting those in Lochinver Station and around the Rangitaiki Tavern area. All going to plan, the remaining customers along Matea Road who were being supplied by temporary generators should be back to normal network supply by the end of the week,” he said.

“The support of the community has been incredible and we are hugely thankful. We know that power was just one of the issues the locals had to deal with following the snow storm, and we have really appreciated their ongoing tolerance, support and assistance.

“It’s also made a huge difference having crews from Centralines, Electrix, WEL Networks and Broadspectrum help out. We’ve really appreciated their support.”