A massive power cut in Taupō yesterday, affecting nearly 16,000 customers, cost local businesses about $1 million in lost revenue, it has been revealed.
Taupō mayor David Trewavas revealed the estimated $1m loss today and now wants to have a serious talk with the utility owners.
"This is the second time in a year the town has lost power for a significant period. I could understand it if there was a significant weather event, but that was not the case."
The council's emergency operations centre (EOC) kicked in and Trewavas said there were plenty of updates throughout the day on how repairs were progressing but "everyone was getting a different story" about when the power would be restored.
He said the emergency services coped well, with council staff calling on people living in the pensioner flats to see how they were getting on.
"At 3pm the fire response team had a major fire to attend to, and it went okay."
Trewavas said in the future the town needed to monitor bus stations to provide for arriving tourists.
"We ended up sending incoming tourists to Tūrangi where everything was operational."
Taupō was a ghost town yesterday, with most shops having to close due to the power outage.
Local generator suppliers Huka Honda were low on generators due to the Auckland supplier being out of stock. Owner Glenn Clarke said they sold the three generators they had in the shop and could have sold another two or three, each costing $1700.
"We sold two to business owners who were able to carry on trading, one was a self-employed painter and the other owned a dairy."
Clarke said the four-stroke generators were petrol driven and a key part to getting through yesterday was having fuel on hand.
"You need petrol to fire them up, people were pinching fuel out of the lawn mower."
Around 6pm yesterday Transpower advised that repair work on the Wairakei Substation was complete and Unison restored power in a staged process taking up to two hours.