Counties Energy prepares for Cyclone Gabrielle
Counties Energy is urging all residents to start preparing now for potential large-scale impact from Cyclone Gabrielle early next week. Based on current MetService information, severe weather is likely to impact the region Monday through to Wednesday morning.
The company’s storm response teams and additional resources are on standby and planning throughout the business for a full-scale storm event is underway. Counties Energy General Manager Operations Dale Carline says residents must be prepared for the cyclone and for potentially long periods of time without power.
“The recent flooding event demonstrated with tragic consequences just how much the weather can affect our region, with critical infrastructure services severely impacted. With sodden and unstable ground, it is likely that this could result in further slips, and coupled with the predicted gale force winds, this cyclone is likely to severely affect the electricity network. If we have large scale outages, please understand how this could affect your property and resolution times. Some properties in more rural areas could be days without power if the electricity network suffers large-scale damage. With trees and slips likely to block paths, safe access to sites with very complex repairs on potentially unstable ground can take significant time.”
“We’re advising customers to use this weekend to start their storm preparations. For the medically dependent, please have your emergency plans in place. For those in a high wind rural area or you’re running a business and are in a position to buy a generator, we encourage you to do so now. Take some simple steps such as securing outdoor furniture and trampolines, and anything else that can become a projectile in high winds. Store some water if you rely on a pump, check your BBQ gas bottle and torches and charge up your smartphones and tablets. Check in with your neighbours and those you know living alone to check they are prepared.”
Stay up to date on our Outage Hub, website and Facebook. Please check the power outage preparation tips and safety information on our website and download the Outage Hub app now. Customers are encouraged to log any faults on the app as in extreme weather events, large scale faults can result in phone line queues. Be prepared by downloading the Outage Hub App now, save https://app.countiesenergy.co.nz/ onto the home screen of your smartphone. Add your ICP number (found on your power bill) under ‘My Locations’ in the menu bar so that you’ll receive updates to any power outages affecting your property.
Please treat all lines as live, stay well clear and report any downed or damaged lines or electrical equipment immediately on 0800 100 202 or via 111. Don’t forget your animals – livestock should be moved out of paddocks with power lines in preparation and to high ground in case of flooding.
In the event of large-scale power outages Counties Energy crews ‘make safe’ first, moving around the region isolating power to any damaged or downed lines and electrical equipment before moving to restore the network. Once essential services are restored crews then work to repair widespread outages affecting significant numbers, then multiple property and businesses then single properties. Single properties and those with damage to privately owned service lines could be without power for some time if there is large-scale damage to the network and should be prepared for longer resolution times. Owners of damaged privately owned service lines are recommended to use an approved contractor to repair their lines – which could be a faster resolution for these customers.
Outage preparation tips and what to do in a power outage can be found on the website – www.countiesenergy.co.nz/outage-tips. This is a timely reminder to ensure trees and vegetation near power lines are maintained. It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure vegetation is kept away from power lines. Cyclone’s Dovi’s large-scale power outages in February 2022 were largely caused by trees or tree debris damaging power lines. More information can be found at www.countiesenergy.co.nz/trees.