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Power outage disrupts Northland traffic

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Sandy Beech

20 June 2024, 4:05 AM

Power outage disrupts Northland trafficMotorists advised to limit travel

Extreme wet weather in Northland this morning has led to a widespread power outage, causing significant disruptions across the region.

The outage has primarily affected traffic, with police urging motorists to exercise patience and caution, especially at intersections where traffic lights are not functioning.

Authorities have deployed officers to manage traffic on main roads and key intersections, ensuring a visible presence in business areas throughout the Northland District.

Police are advising locals to travel only if necessary and to avoid the Whangārei CBD to minimise congestion and enhance safety.

“We ask motorists to only travel if necessary and the best practice is to stay off the roads to stay safe,” a police spokesperson said. "We thank motorists for their understanding."

The power outage occurred around 11 a.m. when a 220 kV transmission tower near Glorit unexpectedly fell.

This tower supports two high-capacity circuits, crucial for supplying most of Northland’s power.

The collapse led to immediate and extensive power disruptions.

Transpower is working to restore capacity using a lower capacity 110 kV network, but full restoration will require bringing at least one of the 220 kV circuits back online.

Transpower crews are currently on-site assessing the situation and exploring options to restore further power.

Meanwhile, local sources such as the geothermal generation at Ngāwhā are helping to supply some electricity.

An operational Grid Emergency Notice has been issued, extending until noon tomorrow, with further updates expected based on ongoing assessments.

Transpower has assured the community that the area around the fallen tower is secure and that their priority remains restoring power.

The cause of the tower's collapse is still unknown, but a full investigation will be conducted.

For the latest updates, locals are encouraged to check Transpower’s website and Facebook page, as well as their electricity retailers and local lines companies.