17 outages over 5 weeks in Teviot Valley

More than 200 properties in the Teviot Valley are to be affected by an ''abnormally'' high number of power outages lasting several hours over the coming weeks.

Aurora Energy confirmed it is replacing 57 poles at their use-by date with new poles around the Millers Flat and Ettrick areas.

The work starts on November 5 and will result in 17 outages in the area over five weeks.

Dozens of concerned residents and business owners grilled Aurora staff during a public meeting in Millers Flat yesterday, as questions were fielded on how the outages would affect them.

Aurora Energy external relations adviser Karen Melville told the Otago Daily Times about 237 properties would be affected to varying degrees.

The work would be comprised of 57 new poles, 22 hardwood components, 4.4km of power line and 1.8km of low-voltage conductor.

The overhaul had been in the planning stages for the past five months, Ms Melville said at the meeting.

A Connectics supervisor on the project said the poles in the area had reached their use-by date. Some dated back to the 1940s.

Ettrick fruit growers initially during the meeting were worried outages might affect fruit packing.

Other residents queried the work's timing and how outages would affect residents working from home who relied on Wi-Fi.

Aurora discussed with residents the prospect of holding a community drop-in centre during the outages and letterbox drops detailing outage timing.

Several residents stayed after the presentation to clarify when properties would lose power.

Aurora Energy customer and engagement general manager Sian Sutton said no customer or business would experience all 17 outages.

''If members of the community are unable to attend (yesterday's) meeting they will be notified of the outages via their retailers, as well via our website and social media channels.''

Work was expected to finish on December 12.

adam.burns@odt.co.nz

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