Strong winds cause power cuts

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 15:32 08/01/2013
Pole
Warwick Smith/Faifax NZ

BIG WIND: A power line was brought down on a private driveway on Mill Road.

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Strong winds buffeting Manawatu have brought down power lines and cut power to more than 1000 homes around Feilding and Sanson.

MetService issued a severe weather warning yesterday morning as winds increased in force.

Forecaster Philippa Murdoch said winds were up to 50kmh, with gusts up to 80kmh yesterday.

Wind gusts up to 90kmh were expected today, before dying out tomorrow.

The winds brought down a high-voltage wire in Tokorangi Rd in Halcombe about 8.45am, causing a small grass fire.

Powerco spokeswoman Miranda Clayton said the line caused power outages to 750 homes connected to the Sanson-Rongotea feeder.

About an hour later, a pine tree fell on power lines in Halcombe Rd, near Te Rakehou Rd, resulting in further power cuts to 700 homes connected to the Sanson-Mt Stewart feeder.

Power was restored to most customers by 12.30pm but 100 customers had to wait until the evening because of the extent of the damage caused by the fallen trees.

Power lines were also brought down on a private driveway in Mill Rd in Rongotea, leaving live wires on the ground.

Police did not report any serious wind-related problems around the region.

However, electronic road signs on State Highway 1 near Levin warned motorists to be aware of strong winds.

Palmerston North City Council horticulture contract engineer Murray Phillip said staff had a small number of callouts to Tremaine Ave, Limbrick St, Kaimanawa St and Pioneer Highway, where trees had fallen or branches had come down.

A tree came down in Roberts Line but was removed by a farmer before council staff arrived.

In Waldegrave St, a medium-sized tree was uprooted, and in city suburbs where it was recycling day, bins were skittled.

Mr Phillips said it was common to have trees damaged in such conditions but the number damaged yesterday was small considering there were more than 16,000 street trees in the city.

At the Manawatu District Council, community services group manager Brent Limmer said staff had been called to help Powerco technicians on some callouts.

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- Manawatu Standard

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