In Central Otago, strong winds have tested the integrity of the region’s under-fire electricity network. Damages to the network included one power pole that toppled near a public walkway in Queenstown. According to Richard Healey, eight faults have been found across the network of Central Otago and Queenstown Lake including Aurora, where the faults were more prominent because of the poorly maintained network.
It is provided in the Aurora legislation that the network must be able to withstand winds up to 140 kilometres per hour and more. The lines should not be compromised by extremely strong wind speeds. It is also the responsibility of Aurora to see to it that there is clearance zone so that trees do not come too close to the lines. A member of the Delta staff revealed that a sub-station fault caused the power to drop out at their head office and across other parts of the network.
Volunteer fire crews from Queenstown and Frankton were called to address an emergency situation in Peninsula Road where a transformer went on fire. The live 11,000-volt line fell near the Kevin Peninsula Trail setting grass, trees and shrubs on fire. Vehicles were prevented from entering the area while the fire crew was extinguishing the fire. About 1,000 consumers were affected when power was cut off.
According to Healey, the red-tagged pole was installed in 1978 and because its condition is rated 0, it would be very difficult to reinstate the line. In spite of findings that the pole is already severely compromised, it was left to stand for four months.
Because of the high winds in Otago, people were warned to be conscious of electricity-related hazards and power outages. People were also advised to stay clear of power lines and watch out for falling branches that can compromise the lines.
A few domestic maintenance problems can solve through DIY techniques but not when it concerns electricity. To be on the safe side, it is important to call the electricians in Bulimba to check out any issues with the electrical system. If the system has not been maintained for years, make sure that it is inspected for the safety of your home and family.