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Cape communities all powered up after Cyclone Trevor

Published: 22 Mar 2019 5:54pm

Ergon Energy crews have overcome logistical challenges to get the electricity network back up and running after Tropical Cyclone Trevor battered communities across Cape York.

All customers in Lockhart River and Coen, and nearly half of Aurukun lost power as cyclonic winds brought down trees and powerlines.

Far North Area Manager Charlie Casa has praised restoration crews for their efforts and thanked the remote communities for their support.

“While poor flying conditions initially delayed the arrival of our crews, they immediately got on with the job of assessing damage to the network and doing emergency repairs.

“The support from Councils has been fantastic, including the use of their vehicles and equipment,” Mr Casa said.

At Coen, a crew of four was able to restore power to all 130 customers within hours of touching down on Wednesday night (20/3).

The network damage was worse at Lockhart River, where nineteen crew members from across the Atherton Tableland and Cairns have been supporting the restoration effort.

High-voltage feeder lines and dozens of service wires on individual properties had to be repaired before power could be safely restored to 150 customers.

“It was more labour-intensive without access to trucks with elevated work platforms and our crews had to revert to using good old-fashioned ladders, but they’re accustomed to overcoming challenges during a disaster response and they do whatever it takes to get the job done efficiently and safely,” Mr Casa said.

Wild weather delayed flights to Aurukun until this morning (22/3).

“We had the plane packed and six crew members from Cairns ready to roll as soon as it was safe to fly and land because we know how much it means to communities to have the electricity supply restored.

“We always appreciate their patience when they’ve been through a disaster, but we are all at the mercy of the weather and the only way in at this time is by air,” Mr Casa said.

By 4pm crews had restored supply to all 180 customers at Aurukun.

Ergon Energy is continuing to monitor the weather and is ready to respond to any emergency outages.

Fallen powerlines remain a major risk during storm season.

“We want to keep everyone safe around the electricity network, so please take care and stay line aware.

“Look out for fallen powerlines, stay away from them and report this life-threatening hazard to emergency services on 000 or call us on 13 16 70,” Mr Casa said.

Media Contact: Emma Oliveri
Phone: 0457 566 079