Power restored after lightning in Hawke's Bay cut supply

Transpower says all power in the Hawke’s Bay has been restored more than two hours after a double lightning strike caused a widespread outage.

The national grid operator said power has been restored to around 80,000 homes and businesses following this afternoon's outage which was caused by simultaneous lightning strikes on two of the major transmission circuits running into the Hawke’s Bay area.

Transpower issued an apology to all those affected. 

When the power was still out, residents weren't taking any chances, flocking to supermarkets to stock up on emergency supplies.

Emergency generators whirred into action and the scramble for candles began as 80,000 customers including the Hawke's Bay regional hospital and traffic lights were affected.

Unison had updated its customers via Facebook, to say it was "steadily restoring power to the region with around 40 per cent of power now restored. Sorry to those who are still in the dark - we are doing our best to get your lights on asap." 

In Hastings, shops had closed early and businesses sent workers home when the power went out about 4pm.

Wairoa and Gisborne are also reportedly experiencing a power outage.

One Twitter user tweeted that the power cut was causing delays at Gisborne Airport.

As Transpower scrambled to restore electricity to Hawke's Bay, the Hastings central business district resembled a ghost-town. 

Except for Pak 'n Save which has fielded crowds of shoppers who are stacking up trollies full of nappies, water, bread and potato chips.

Inner city worker Vicki Han said she and her clients had been sent home early and she was at the supermarket stocking up although she already had an emergency kit prepared at home.

Ella Hale, 74, was also compiling some emergency resources to wait out the blackout.

She said she had been in town with her whanau when the power cut struck which had diverted them to the supermarket.

She was not worried about dinner without power as she knew how to make sausage and egg pancakes using a large Watties baked ban tin over a fireplace.

The Dominion Post