13 Dec 2016

More than 40,000 remain without power in Gisborne

From Morning Report, 7:15 am on 13 December 2016
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Photo: 123RF

Forty thousand people in the Gisborne district are still without power this morning, the result of a light plane crashing early yesterday into transmission lines.

The two people on board the aircraft were killed.

Police are working to recover the body of George Anderson and the other man killed and accident investigators are on their way to the crash site.

Crews have been working overnight to repair the damaged lines but the Eastland Network doesn't think power will be back on until late this afternoon.

Residents are being advised to treat lines as live at all times and to turn all power appliances off at the wall.

Local tourism operator Dean Savage says it's difficult to do business and a second day without power is not good news.

"Your EFTPOS stops working so you've got tourists coming in and they can't pay for anything. Obviously that's not a good situation to be in.

"A lot of our friends are having trouble getting supplies. We've got mates that have got generators but they haven't got any fuel for them so it's been a little bit of comedy around the place at times."

Dave Wallace says his two businesses, a fishing charter business and a shop in the city centre, will both lose money.

"I'm flabbergasted that we have been able to be put in this position because the lines company has a lot of money.

"It's not an act of God but it is a very odd sort of thing that's happened. One would think that they would have some sort of backup plan."