Weekend storm causes major power outages in Franklin
Last weekend’s storm event has caused significant damage to Counties Power’s electricity lines network.  High winds have downed lines, while tree damage to lines and poles has been extensive.  Hundreds of homes were without power during the peak of the storm.
The company has called in additional support from infrastructure contractor Broadspectrum to help lines crews resolve outstanding faults as quickly as possible.
Counties Power Chief Executive Sheridan Broadbent said many customers were still without permanent power, or experienced long resolution times across this major storm event.
“We thank our customers for their patience as we work through a huge number of faults.  Some customers did experience long periods without power due to the size and scope of the damage and there are still faults to be resolved, much of which was caused by flying debris, mainly trees and branches.   I’d like to thank our Counties Power lines crews who were out there in extremely trying conditions, including in high winds and driving rain, to get the power flowing again.”
“Our crews are still working diligently as quickly, and as safely, as possible to resolve all faults across the region.  The conditions are still difficult out there for crews to work in, with high winds adding to the complexity.  The continued high winds are also adding additional faults to the network, but we are trying our hardest to keep everyone informed and get the lights on as soon as we safely can.”
 “If you see downed lines or unsafe power equipment, please avoid the area, alert neighbours and report this immediately to Counties Power on 0800 100 202 or at counties.power.com/outages. You can also download the android smartphone app and keep up to date on our Facebook page.  Please treat all lines as live and ensure children and animals are kept away from the site.” 
It is a timely reminder to property owners to please maintain their trees.  Branches growing too close to powerlines and old and unstable trees must be maintained by property owners to keep the power flowing.  A large number of the faults from this weekend’s storm event were avoidable, and the result of trees. More information about safe tree distances from power lines can be found at countiespower.com/trees.
It is also important to take a proactive approach to storm management, and secure items such as trampolines and outdoor umbrellas in high winds as these become missiles, damaging power lines.