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Friday, April 29, 2011

More power cuts loom for ChCh

More power cuts loom for ChCh

Last updated 12:24 29/04/2011
Christchurch residents need to brace themselves for more power cuts this winter, Orion says.

On Wednesday night about 12,000 homes in southern Christchurch lost power for up to four hours when an earthquake damaged underground cable shut down a substation.

Orion general manager commercial Rob Jamieson said city customers needed to prepare themselves for the occasional loss of power in the coming months, especially if Christchurch continues to be rattled by aftershocks.

Jamieson said the power network in the eastern suburbs was severely damaged and remained fragile.

He expected residents in those areas would experience three or four power cuts through winter, each lasting up to five hours.

A small number of badly damaged streets should expect frequent power cuts through winter, he said.

"We're doing everything we can to prevent power cuts for Christchurch residents, particularly those in the badly affected eastern suburbs," Jamieson said.

"Barring any further large aftershocks, with careful management, strategic deployment of generators and customers in the east doing their bit to conserve electricity, we hope to get through the winter with minimal disruption."

Recovery work to improve the network capacity in the east should be completed by July.

"We understand customers' frustrations regarding power outages, however we ask them to please be patient - we're working as hard as we can to keep the power on across our city," he said.

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