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More than half of TC Marcia impacted customers now restored

Published: 25 Feb 2015 4:36pm

Ergon Energy has restored power supply to more than half of the customers impacted by Tropical Cyclone Marcia last week.

The massive restoration effort continues in Central Queensland, with a plan to have electricity back to all customers in urban areas of Rockhampton and Yeppoon by the weekend and outlying areas of impacted network repaired or supplied via generators by next week.

Field crews made better than expected progress in the last 48 hours in both Rockhampton city and the Capricorn coast, with nearly 11,500 customers restored in that time. While 31,800 customers were still without supply this afternoon, Ergon was confident this tally would be reduced again significantly on Thursday (Ed: February 26).

"There is still a lot of work to do, but we are making good progress," said Executive General Manager Customer Delivery Peter Billing.

"Our restoration plan is delivering and we are also putting extra focus on outlying areas," Mr Billing said.

He said Ergon would deploy one of its specialised mobile emergency high voltage substations (known as "Pegasus" units) onto the northern line out of Rockhampton today to assist with restoring power to Marlborough areas north. Two more Pegasus units were also on their way to Rockhampton.

"Where we can't quickly repair or rebuild the network, we are looking at options for temporary generation to restore some normality to our customers' lives," Mr Billing said.

Safety will remain No.1 focus says Ergon

"However we will not compromise in terms of doing this job safely, and if restoration needs to be delayed at any time to ensure it's done safe, then that is what will happen," Mr Billing said.

"We would ask our customers to use the same common sense – use generators safely, keep yourself and others away from fallen powerlines and make sure your premises is safe to reconnect," he said.

Customers who are yet to be reconnected should ensure appliances are switched off and unplugged to avoid accidents or unnecessary load on the network during restoration.

Ergon has advised that some customers will require electrical contractors to complete repairs to their installations before it will be safe for Ergon Energy to reconnect them. 

Once the necessary checks and repairs are made, the electrical contractor needs to complete the paperwork certifying the property is ready for Ergon Energy to reconnect.  Ergon Energy will not reconnect such premises unless this authorisation is provided. Master Electricians Australia have a hotline for home owners affected – 1300 889 198 – to help them connect with their nearest available contractor.

Media Contact: Bob Pleash
Phone: 0419 714 270

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