In a wtaf? moment, power companies in Otago are doing day long power cuts for maintenance in the middle of winter.
More than 700 South Dunedin households were without power for much of today as Aurora energy crews replaces power poles
MP opens party rooms to residents as planned power cuts start – and temperatures plummet. https://t.co/5pTAUprWkl
— hamish mcneilly (@southernscoop) July 10, 2017
It’s also coinciding with a snow storm about to hit the South Island. Metservice have issued a road snow warning for the state highway heading north out of Dunedin. This isn’t a big dump of snow in Dunedin, but for those that haven’t lived in the south, in a damp cold climate it’s the windchill that kills.
Severe Weather Watch issued for MARLB, FIORD, CHCH, CANTP, CANTH, NTAGO, CTAGO, SLAKE, DNEDN, CLUTH, STHLD, STEW https://t.co/DzhjAtz8X9
— Severe Weather Info (@MetServiceWARN) July 9, 2017
Potential snow accumulation through 12am Thursday.
For the mid & upper South Island, this represents only about 1/2 of the storm! ❄️🌨☃ pic.twitter.com/1aeuwSlWcH
— NIWA Weather (@NiwaWeather) July 9, 2017
There are further cuts planned over the next few months for Central Otago where day time temperatures can be below zero.
Aurora Energy was called out last year for its woeful maintenance after one of its former managers turned whistleblower. Chunks of its infrastructure (e.g. power poles) were deemed as unsafe when a subsequent report was released late last year.
I expect problems like this to increase. Climate change will put additional pressures on systems that have been run down by neoliberalism and where too many managers no longer have the common sense to operate those systems in a socially competent way. But I also think that people are resilient and despite the pressures on society from the plunder monkeys we still have many good folk around. We need to look to our collective resources, both in formal systems and informal ones going forward, and build on those while we still have them.
Despite the criticisms of Clare Curran and Labour in the past, having a Labour MP in Dunedin willing to look out for people who are cold is actually worth a lot.
Update: looks like Aurora cancelled some of its Dunedin power cuts yesterday “due to unforeseen circumstances“.