The strong winds which have been ripping across the region brought down a high-voltage power line in Kitchener St, Wanganui East, about 1.30pm yesterday.
The arcing, broken line was smoking on the street berm as the fire service arrived to secure the area. Power was cut to 440 properties.
Firemen had to contend with a couple of youths who objected to being asked to reroute from their preferred short-cut to an adjacent street.
The supply was restored to the majority of customers within 30 minutes but a further 100 properties remained without power around 4.30pm, while repairs were undertaken.
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Station officer Aaron Summerhays said the fire service had been on alert as gusts battered Wanganui over the weekend, and he was concerned that the city might be side-swiped by the 130km/h gales which were predicted to hit Wairarapa last night.
Yesterday, winds continued to hit Wanganui, Rangitikei and Manawatu, and brought down trees and tore down overhead lines. In Wairarapa, 2300 customers were left without power, while electricity was cut to 400 homes in Manawatu.
Wanganui was still being buffeted by northwesterly winds of 50km/h with gusts up to 76km/h last night.