Powerco issues warning as cyclone Fili approaches

People are being asked to secure anything that can fly up and hit power lines. Photo:Jamie Hasler/File.

Coromandel and Western Bay of Plenty residents are being urged to secure outdoor objects that can blow into power lines ahead of ex-tropical cyclone Fili making landfall.

Powerco field crews are on standby ready to respond should severe wind gusts arrive in the regions from early evening today as forecast.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says the low is now rapidly deepening as it approaches the upper North Island and will move in quickly tonight/overnight and Wednesday - before entirely clearing the North Island by Thursday morning. Read the latest forecast here.

Powerco network operations manager Scott Horniblow says trampolines, outdoor furniture and other loose items such as sheets of iron should be securely fixed to the ground.

“Wind-blown trampolines and loose roofing iron have caused multiple power outages in previous storms and are a major threat to people’s safety.

“Trees and branches blowing into power lines is another risk. It’s important if people come across downed or low power lines, they keep well clear and call Powerco’s emergency line on 0800 27 27 27.”

Steps customers can take to prepare for possible power outages include stocking up on torches and batteries, ensuring cellphone batteries are charged and BBQ gas bottles filled, and have bottled water on hand if you rely on a pump.

Customers wanting information about power cuts can go to Powerco’s power outage webpage or contact their electricity retailer.

Powerco is New Zealand’s second largest electricity utility and gas distribution utility with around 1.1m customers (across 446,000 connections) connected to its networks. Powerco’s electricity networks are in Western Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, Eastern and Southern Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Manawatū and the Wairarapa. Its gas pipeline networks are in Taranaki, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatū and Hawke’s Bay.

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