20 Sep 2010

Storm aftermath leaves many without power

6:22 am on 20 September 2010

About 600 customers were still without power on Sunday evening following a spate of bad weather, lines company Powerco says.

Network operations manager Phil Marsh says Friday's storms cut power to 55,600 North Island customers from the Coromandel Peninsula to Wairarapa.

Mr Marsh says more than 100 staff spent Sunday restoring supply to customers across the central North Island.

He says there are still small faults including blown pole fuses, downed service lines and damaged low voltage lines.

At Piha near Auckland, a generator is supplying most of the 1000 people who were left without power again on Sunday. Lines company Vector says lines fell in deep bush and the fault is significant.

North Island roads

Motorists are urged to take extreme care on roads in the central North Island following the bad weather.

Highways throughout Waikato, Taranaki and Manawatu have been particularly affected by slips and flooding.

In Whanganui, a hill slip is threatening one home and it could be several days before the owners are able to return.

Flooding has closed the intersection on State Highway 56 at Tiakitahuna.

And caution is urged on State Highway 1 at Mangaweka one lane of which has reopened after a slip.

Dairy farmers affected by storm aftermath

Powerco is working with farmers and trying to give priority to those with distressed dairy herds, where some have missed two or three milkings.

A farmer near Feilding, Andrew Hoggard, says missing milking causes discomfort for the animal and can cause mastitis. He says he was forced to use a generator on Saturday.

In Southland, snow has caused problems for dairy farmers. Cathie Cotter, who farms near Invercargill, says several tankers have slid off the road and were unable to collect milk.

She says the snow has brought power lines down, and there is a shortage of generators as they were sent to Canterbury after the earthquake.

Snow closes South Island roads

In the South Island, snow has closed SH94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound on Sunday.

Invercargill police say roads around Southland are dangerous and slippery and people shouldn't travel unless they absolutely have to.

Some roads require chains.

River, lake levels high

The heavy rain has pushed up the level of the Waipa River in Waikato, and Lake Taupo is also high.

Waikato Regional Council says Waikato River and Waipa River could have high flows for up to two weeks.