Gisborne and East Coast could go another night without power

Around 40,000 homes in the Gisborne area are still without power this morning after a light plane crash interrupted electricity supply to the entire East Coast yesterday.

General Manager Brent Stewart says crews worked throughout the night to restore power but had to stand down as storms brought heavy rain, wind and lightning to the remote area.

“We’ve got around twenty people there and they are working as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions. We are still hopeful power will be restored by late this afternoon but there is a big task ahead.”

Emergency generators are providing power to rest home facilities, and food and fuel outlets. Many commercial outlets also have their own generators. Several food outlets are operating with gas. 

Overnight, the 110kV transmission line was repaired between Tuai and Gisborne.

Power was restored to the East Coast via generator before 3am last night and west of Puha all the way to Motu.

Generators are running again today but power supply will be intermittent.

“People may have no power in these areas. We ask people to use this power sparingly so power will reach longer distances from the substation and more people will benefit,” Eastland Group spokesman Andrew Gaddum says.

Tairawhiti Civil Defence controller Patrick Willock said several service stations are now open for fuel and gas supplies.

“Today will be harder for people without power but we ask for their patience. Many people are working hard to restore power and enable power in the meantime.”