20 Sep 2010

Gale-force winds cause more power cuts

10:05 pm on 20 September 2010

Gale-force winds have caused further power cuts in the lower North Island on Monday.

Lines company Powerco says 2000 customers are still without power and are likely to remain that way overnight.

Some 61,000 customers have lost their power supply since a major storm blew through on Friday, but most have been reconnected.

The latest areas affected are Manawatu, Whanganui and Taranaki.

Powerco network operations manager Phil Marsh says the intense gales are reaching up to 130km/h.

Mr Marsh says about 100 contractors are working to restore the power supply, but reconnecting some customers is proving a challenge.

The MetService says more cold, wet, windy weather is on the way this week.

It says a front will bring squally showers to western and southern areas. Heavy snow is predicted for the southern parts of the South Island, the Southern Alps, including the main passes and the central North Island high country.

Meanwhile, State Highway 43 from Stratford to Taumarunui - also called the Forgotten World Highway - has been closed due to a series of slips on Monday.

An intersection on State Highway 56, near Palmerston North, is closed due to flooding.

State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford Sound is closed because of snow.