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Vector warns Aucklanders to prepare for potential gales, localised tornadoes which could cut power

Vector is warning Aucklanders to prepare for potential gales and even localised tornadoes which could cut power to homes over the next 24 to 36 hours.

A person standing in a storm underneath an umbrella. Source: istock.com

The power company says its monitoring weather advice that warns of the "potential for gale surges, thunderstorms and localised tornadoes to cause power cuts."

Vector has assigned additional crew and storm management teams as a precaution.

“We know it’s the school holidays with lots of families at home and reliant on power for warmth and entertainment such as laptops," Vector’s head of network field services, Marko Simunac, said.

"If the weather causes damage to power lines, we’ll aim to restore power as quickly as possible while ensuring the safety of our crews and the public. This means that we may need to remotely shut down power to that area as a public safety precaution until crews arrive on site."

MetService issued a strong wind warning watch for Auckland and surrounding areas today, with the weather worsening tomorrow.

"A Strong Wind Watch has been issued for parts of the upper North Island (including Auckland) tomorrow behind yet another low which moves across the island in the morning."

Vector recommends the following checklist to prepare for the inclement weather.

• Always stay away from fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment.

• Watch out for falling tree branches as these can cause damage to power lines.
Avoid possible damage to electrical appliances (in the unlikely event there is a power surge when the power is restored) by switching off appliances at the wall.

• Keep a torch and spare batteries handy and ensure that you have at least one telephone that does not rely on electricity for operation.

• Ensure that an alternate fuel is always available for cooking (e.g. gas for BBQ).
If you have an electric garage door, prepare how you can gain entry to the garage another way so you have access to your vehicle.

• Tie down objects on your property that may be impacted by strong winds (ie: trampolines, BBQs and BBQ covers).

• If you are on tank water please ensure you have plenty of bottled water available.

• If life or property is at risk, call 111.

• We ask the public to not approach our teams for their safety and that of our crews.