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Current as of 19/01/18 07:40PM NZST

Still no hot water for 400 Auckland homes after weekend's storm

By Melissa Nightingale

Some Aucklanders are being forced to boil the jug if they want to wash their dishes, as Vector works to restore hot water to 400 homes after last week's storm. Photo / File
Some Aucklanders are being forced to boil the jug if they want to wash their dishes, as Vector works to restore hot water to 400 homes after last week's storm. Photo / File

About 400 Auckland homes are still without hot water after the weekend's monster storm created thousands of outages across the region.

Titirangi resident Danny Clevely said he and his wife are "going back to the old days", having to boil the kettle to wash dishes.

The couple have been going to their local gym to shower since Thursday, when their power and hot water went out.

A Vector spokesman said hot water would be the last thing to be restored for affected homes, as the energy company worked through a priority restoration system.

At its peak, the storm took out power to 20,000 customers, and it could sometimes be a lengthy process for everything to get back up and running.

First to be restored were feeders supplying power to large groups of homes or buildings, next was large buildings such as hospitals and airports, then large commercial buildings, and finally residential and individual homes.

Hot water was usually at the bottom of the list, he said.

"We're down to the last 400 or so Vector customers, we're expecting to get through those by tonight or tomorrow."

Clevely had been unimpressed with the lack of communication from Vector, and had tried to contact them and log fault reports on their mobile phone applications more than once, but had only managed to get in touch with someone after sending a message to Vector's Facebook page.

It has been at least five days since he had hot water, and his electricity was only restored on Sunday.

"It's a bit of a trial, you go home and think 'what have we got tonight, have we got hot water?'

"We haven't been able to do any hot washing, we have to boil the kettle for everything. It's going back to the old days."

Clevely said he and his wife had been managing, and they were thankful for the summer temperatures taking the edge off the water.

"It's not as though we're having to get the sleeping bags out or anything like that, but it's just the inconvenience and what it's cost us as well."

The couple had to eat out at night while they were without power, and had to throw out a fridge and freezer-load of food that had gone off.

But his "biggest gripe" was how difficult it was to get updates on the situation or get hold of someone who could tell him what was happening.

"You've got to chase them up and unless you know how to get hold of them, you will not get hold of them, or if you do then you get the platitudes."

The Vector spokesman said he understood how it could be frustrating for customers, and there was an option for people to register a mobile phone number on their website for text message updates.

However, when it came down to individual houses it could be difficult to send out updates.

"This, unfortunately, is just a backlog."

Customers could be expecting hot showers hopefully tonight or tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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