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Ergon prepares for Gulf tropical low - are you ready?

Published: 17 Feb 2017 3:52pm

Ergon Energy is preparing for possible impacts from a tropical low pressure system in the Gulf of Carpentaria which the Bureau of Meteorology says could develop into a cyclone over the weekend.

Contingency planning, preparations and checks have started for Ergon’s operations in northern parts of the state, with options for deployment of additional field crews and emergency generation.

Ergon is liaising and will work with local disaster groups and is speaking with local councils as part of its preparations for the event.

“With the BOM forecasting the system may intensify into a cyclone, people in southern Gulf communities should start preparing for possible impacts and power interruptions,” explained Lines Manager Geoff McGraw.

If the power goes off, are you ready?

Mr McGraw said tropical lows and cyclones had the potential to impact power supply for many days or even weeks depending on the scale of damage to the network.

“Experience shows that a category one or two cyclone can impact power supply for up to a week or more and larger systems even longer,” he said.

People should have preparations well underway at this time, including cleaning up loose items around homes and businesses in case of high winds.

“Airborne debris is known to cause some of the biggest impacts on the electricity network and people should make sure anything that could be blown around by cyclonic winds is secured,” he said.

Ergon’s primary concern is the safety of crews and customers he said.

“I urge all residents in Gulf communities to think safety first and especially stay away from fallen powerlines. Safety should include flood safety, given heavy rainfall that invariably results from these systems,“ he said.

Flood advice – Before and during flooding:

  • If you’re in a flood prone location, consider relocating your switchboard and any wiring in your home that may be below previous flood levels.
  • Where possible, move any electrical equipment to higher ground.
  • Turn off and unplug any electrical appliances that may become inundated with water.
  • If moving around your area in boats, be aware of reduced powerline height clearances as flood waters will make you closer to the powerlines and power poles can also move from the force of flood waters.
  • Warn children not to swim in or near flood waters.

Media Contact: Corporate Communications Manager John Fowler
Phone: 0417283713