The chaos brought to central Taranaki by Ex Cyclone Gita is slowly being sorted out.

A state of emergency has been lifted across the region following the cyclone, which brought winds of up to 140kmh to the region last Tuesday night, wreaking havoc on roads and essential services, including power and water supplies.

More than 20,000 properties across the region lost power and many schools and preschools were closed.

Toko School office manager Annette Hinton says a lack of power and plenty of downed trees meant the school was closed on Thursday and Friday last week.


The school's year three, four and five pupils were due to go to camp at Te Wera but the camp was postponed until this week due to the storm.

Stratford District Council chief executive Sven Hanne says a number of council staff were sent to help with Civil Defence efforts during the storm, including welfare checks in the community.

In light of the ongoing power outage in the eastern part of the district, council staff and representatives from the Rural Support Trust visited properties and spoke to locals to identify key needs in the community.

"While the roads being open helps, being without power for an extended period of time causes significant challenges."

Some water tankers supplying the affected areas of New Plymouth filled up with water in Stratford after the pipeline from the city's water treatment station to the Mangorei Reservoir was ruptured by a falling tree.

Restoring Powerco's network is now centred on helping the remaining customers who are still without power.

Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh says most were customers with faults on their properties. They are spread throughout the province.

"Each requires a visit from a contractor.


"This is very time consuming and we are currently dealing with 600 such faults. Our workers have been on the go since the cyclone struck on Tuesday night but are doing their best to cope with the next phase of our recovery."

Phil says the scale of damage in Eastern Taranaki, including Strathmore, Toko, Douglas and Whangamomona, is massive and parts of that network will require a rebuild.

"This could take a number of days. We understand the frustration of the locals but ask for their patience."

Phil says as main lines were fixed it was important that if customers had part power or no power, especially when neighbours did have supply, that they contacted their electricity retailer.