Setback for Orion in reconnecting power

8:35 am on 8 March 2011

Lines company Orion has suffered a setback in its efforts to get power back on the 99% of properties outside central Christchurch by the end of Monday.

Orion says the only main cable it has been able to reconnect from the Brighton zone substation failed again on Sunday.

While 95% of properties have been reconnected, it warns that the network is fragile and people should use as little electricity as possible.

Assessments climb

More than 70,000 homes have been assessed, Civil Defence says, of which more than 2000 have been given red stickers, meaning no-one can enter.

In addition, up to 3,500 chemical toilets have been delivered to households and 30,000 have been ordered.

People are being asked to use the 44 disposal tanks, stationed in areas which have been given chemical toilets, and not to empty them into portable toilets, which could result in overflowing.

Water has been restored to about 80% of households, but even the chlorinated supply water should be boiled before use.

About half of homes have water, which can be used to flush the toilet, though some portable toilets have been stationed in these areas. Civil Defence is working in the next few days to ensure sewerage systems are working.

Rubbish collections have resumed, and between Monday and Friday green and red bins will be collected, regardless of what day they are normally emptied. Yellow bins will be dealt with on the usual day, but bricks and rubble will not be taken in kerbside collections.

People are being asked to help their neighbourhood, by moving bins at deserted homes.

Silt removal will be largely completed on Monday.

Community briefings will take place on Wednesday in Richmond Park, Parklands Reserve, Rawhiti Domain and South New Brighton park.

Eight recovery assistance centres are now operating: at Lyttleton Recreation Centre, Sydenham Community Centre, Linwood Community Link, Wainoni Aranui Recreation Centre, Parklands Baptist Church, St Faiths Hall, Nga Hau e Wha Marae in Aranui and Shirley Rugby Club.

The welfare centre at Pioneer Stadium is open, but the one at Cowles Stadium is now closed.