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Crews work to restore power to thousands

Published: 5:50AM Wednesday March 21, 2012 Source: ONE News

Line crews will be back out this morning trying to restore power to thousands of people after strong winds battered much of the west coast of the North Island.

In the worst hit region of Taranaki, which is still recovering from a hammering two weeks ago, about 2500 people spent the night without power.

The gale winds uprooted trees or ripped off branches which tore down power lines.
 
Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said significant damage had been caused to the company's electricity network in Taranaki.

Dangerous winds and road closures yesterday hampered Powerco's efforts to restore power.

"As soon as it's safe, crews will be out in force working to get the power back on as soon as they can. We've brought in staff from outside the region to help restore supply."

Emergency services say things were relatively quiet overnight.
 
And while wild winds are causing problems on the west coast the east coast is bracing itself for more heavy rain.

The deluge caused serious flooding in Northland over the past few days turning roads into rivers.
 
Storm beginning to lose momentum

MetService said while the worst of it has passed there, the wet weather is not quite over yet.
 
A new low is expected to move over parts of the North Island later today and bursts of rain can be expected in areas from Auckland to Gisborne.

ONE News weatherman Jim Hickey says a reprieve from the gales is on the horizon for Taranaki, Taupo and the Central North Island High Country, Wellington and Horowhenua Kapiti Coast.

"The storm is beginning to lose momentum. Severe gales from the high country, to Taranaki, to Wellington are on the cusp of abating," Hickey said.

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