Pole work prompts turn-off

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Pole problems: Kelvin Heights

Power was cut to hundreds of Kelvin Heights homes yesterday while Delta dealt with a “condition zero” power pole yesterday.

The 11,000-volt line from the pole came down last Friday on an access track to the Kelvin Peninsula Trail last Friday afternoon, starting a vegetation fire and cutting power to about 1000 customers.

Delta communications manager Gary Johnson says power was turned off to 635 Kelvin Heights customers at 9.30am yesterday so the pole could be replaced.

It was restored about 7pm.

Resident Di Williams, who lives opposite the pole, says Delta told her yesterday another red-tagged pole beside it would be also be replaced in the coming days.

She said the red-tagged poles had both been on a lean for a long time.

“The one in front of us has also got some sort of metal support thing through the pole … to try and hold it up a bit.”

Last Friday afternoon Williams noticed the pole moving around in the wind.

“The next minute there was a flash of light and loud noise and the line was down.”

She says it was only good luck no one was walking nearby when the line came down.

Williams wonders why the entire network isn’t being put underground, which she thinks would be safer.

The pole replaced yesterday was initially installed in 1978 and had last been inspected in July.

Delta advises people to stay clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times.

Condition zero poles are deemed not safe to climb, not fit for “actual load” and could fall at any time.

Otago Daily Times