Power was restored to most of the Tinui township in Wairarapa late Wednesday evening after Powerco’s Tinui substation was submerged in floodwater from Cyclone Gabrielle.
Contractors cleared a tree close to the substation to enable a line from the Awatoi substation to supply Tinui township.
A Powerco spokesperson said extra crews were coming from Wellington to help field crews with power restoration for the rest of the area. Power was yet to be restored northwest of Castlepoint, with 10 poles down on Tanawa Rd and a tree fallen across a line on Tinui Valley Rd.
Powerco Head of Network Operations Caz Haydon said Wairarapa customers had been patient and understanding with crews trying to gain access to the affected areas.
“While our teams have assessed the damage from the air by helicopter, access remains a constraint to getting equipment and crews into the area,” she said.
Further up the coast in Tararua district, residents from Pongaroa to Akitio have been isolated because of significant flooding, with access only viable by helicopter. Powerco said crews were coordinating a heavy-lift helicopter to fly in equipment, materials, and crews during the next few days.
As of 4.30pm yesterday, 262 Wairarapa households were still without power, down from 704 at 4.30pm on Wednesday.