Snow update: 11.30am

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Power grid company Aurora Energy has teams working to restore power to parts of Queenstown, Frankton, Arrowtown, Dalefield and Glenorchy.

Heavy snow and snow-loaded tree branches on lines are causing the problems.

Snow has been falling since about 4am this morning and continues to come down thick and fast in some areas, although it has now stopped in the CBD.

An Aurora spokesperson said: “All available teams are working hard to rectify faults and restore power to affected customers.

“Power will be restored as quickly as is safely possible but extreme conditions is hampering our response.

“The safety of the public and lines crews is of primary importance so always keep well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times.”

Parts of the CBD and also Lake Hayes Estate and other suburbs also lost power at about 10.45am but it was quickly restored.

The Remarkables and Coronet Peak skifield are closed but NZSki staff at Coronet have found another way to fill their time.

Marg Arnott, Wakatipu Meals in Wheels co-ordinator, said: “Very big thank you to Coronet Peak for stepping in to deliver Meals On Wheels

Arrowtown today.  So very grateful for helping us out at the last minute. Great community service.”

All school are closed. The airport is open and operational however some air services have been delayed or cancelled. For schedule updates visit the airport website

Other problems in Queenstown include: the traffic signals out at the Shotover/Stanley St intersection, and a large tree across Tucker Beach Road just after Quail Rise which is blocking the road.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has sent a contractor to clear the tree.

Fernhill drivers advised to put on chains. A snowplough is working hard on the roads at Arthurs Point and Gorge Road, but QLDC advise drivers to put on chains.

Frankton Transfer Station is closed until further notice due to dangerous conditions for users. Also, kerbside collections in the Wakatipu are postponed until conditions improve.

Glenorchy Road is closed from Bob’s Cove due to a fallen tree and damaged powerlines.

The Lindis Pass is now closed.

It is also still snowing at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables overnight and tomorrow is expected to be an “epic powder day”.

Coronet Peak, 20 minutes from downtown, has an additional 35cms at the base building and more to come. Across the Wakatipu Basin, snowfall at The Remarkables has added 45cms while in some places the snow is almost a metre due to snow drifts.

Loss of power in the Queenstown area has closed both ski fields for today, but operations are go as they prepare for clear weather on Tuesday leaving plenty of fresh powder.

Plans to get The Remarkables perfect for tomorrow include road clearing, and heli bombing.

Operations Manager Michel Le Page explains that a helicopter with pilot and snow safety experts from the patrol team will cruise above the ski field seeking heavy snow areas around the main runs to remove avalanche hazards, and get the groomers in.

“It’s going to be an epic day tomorrow!” he said.