Power restored to most households

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 05/03/2011

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Power has been restored to almost all of Christchurch, with the 95 per cent reconnection target achieved two days earlier than expected.

The number of customers without power in the eastern suburbs dropped from 16,000 to 8000 within 24 hours, and 3700 homes in that area have been connected to generators.

About 14,000 customers across Christchurch are still without power, with most expected to be reconnected by tomorrow.

Orion chief executive Roger Sutton said all schools requiring power should have it restored by Monday.

He urged people to conserve electricity. Residents without electricity should turn the power off at the main switch to help prevent fires when power was restored.

About 1170 portable toilets have been distributed across the city, with another 960 on order.

About 1750 chemical toilets have been delivered to the eastern suburbs, with a further 3500 expected next week and 20,000 more on order.

Water has been restored to about 75 per cent of Christchurch, but repairs to wastewater systems have been more difficult.

New Zealand's largest purpose-built mobile shower will be deployed in needy Christchurch areas on Monday.

The 14-stand shower unit, providing up to 170 showers an hour, will be stationed in areas where there is no water supply.

About 60,000 tonnes of silt remains to be cleared from Christchurch streets before the first sweep of the city is complete.

More than 420 contractors removed 50,000 tonnes of silt from city streets on Thursday, bringing the total removed since the quake to about 218,000 tonnes.

Most of the silt has been trucked to the Burwood landfill, and Bottle Lake Forest Park will be closed until further notice.

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- The Press

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