Severe weather causes widespread damage across Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago electricity network, Update 3 as at 22:30h

23 Jan 2019

Severe wind gusts and heavy rain have caused widespread damage and power cuts in multiple areas across the electricity network in Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago.

There are reports of multiple downed trees and power lines. Please always treat downed lines as live and stay well clear.

The number of homes and businesses without power is estimated at around 1,100 (down from 4,500 at peak). Customers with power off should prepare for the power remaining off overnight. Power could be restored at any time, so treat all electrical equipment and appliances as live.

Aurora Energy’s response crews have been working to repair damage where it is possible and safe to do so. For their safety, response crews will be stood down overnight until daylight returns.

While every effort is being made to restore power as quickly as possible, this may take some time. Efforts to restore power have been hampered the number of very large trees downed by wind gusts across a wide area.

Power is off to customers in:

  • Makarora
  • Paradise
  • Glenorchy (efforts are being made to restore power from a backup generator tonight)
  • Glenda Drive, Frankton.

Power has been restored to:

  • Lake Hayes and Millbrook (except for 28 customers)
  • Albert Town
  • Jack’s Point
  • Luggate
  • Glendhu Bay, Wanaka
  • Hawea Flat
  • Ettrick (except for 12 customers)
  • Millers Flat
  • Queensberry
  • Clyde.

We urge electricity customers in Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes to conserve power to lessen the chance of further power outages during the evening peak.

No further update will be provided tonight unless the situation changes significantly.

During a power outage, please remember that the safety of the public and Aurora Energy’s field contractor staff is of primary importance at all times. They will respond as soon as it is possible and safe to do so. Please always treat downed lines as live and stay well clear.

Keep safe:

  • Always keep well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times
  • Watch out for falling tree branches as these can cause damage to power lines.
  • Avoid possible damage to electrical appliances when power is restored by switching off appliances at the wall.

People using medical equipment that relies on electricity should ensure they are prepared for power disruptions and if there is an immediate health threat, contact their health provider or call 111.

To report downed lines, or trees in power lines, please contact Aurora Energy on 0800 22 00 05.
To report a loss of power, please contact your electricity retailer.