Ergon Energy outlines restoration plan for flood-affected communities

Published: 7 Feb 2019 12:15pm

Ergon Energy has finalised plans aiming to restore power to 80 per cent of customers affected by the devastating Far North Queensland floods by Sunday 10 February, and 100 per cent restored by Tuesday 12 February.

Ergon’s Executive General Manager for Distribution Paul Jordon said although the work of crews had been hampered by damaging floodwaters and related hazards, they will continue working until power is restored to all premises that can safely have it connected.

“In the face of some seemingly insurmountable devastation inflicted on the region’s infrastructure our crews have already restored supply to more than half of affected homes and businesses,” he said.

“And with floodwaters just now receding, crews have been able to access damaged sections of the network identifying approximately 2000 electrical pillars,100 pad mount transformers and 50 high voltage switching units that have been inundated by flood water.

“To assist with this enormous repair task, nearly 150 additional Ergon and Energex field staff are being moved in to help local crews to methodically go from asset to asset cleaning out the water, mud and silt, make repairs to or replace parts of the network and then safely restore power.”

Since the height of the North Queensland flooding, the number of homes and businesses without power had dropped from 17,000 to 7,900 which Mr Jordon described as “excellent progress in light of the serious challenges and literal roadblocks Mother Nature presented Ergon crews with.”

He said that while the restoration plan was ambitious in light of the enormity of damage to the network, and that further rain or access issues may require review of the plan, Ergon Energy and Energex crews were determined to restore a safe network supply across the region.

“Our crews fully understand that power supply is vitally important ensuring the community can continue the road to recovery and we’ll continue doing everything possible to repair and then re-energise the flood-damaged network as quickly and safely as possible.”

Customers have been reminded to stay safe in the affected areas and should keep away from fallen powerlines and other damaged or flooded network infrastructure. If someone notices an electrical hazard they should keep others away and phone Ergon immediately on 131 670 or 000.

In situations where individual premises have been deemed electrically unsafe by Ergon crews a ‘Form 3’ will be left and the homeowner will need to contact an electrical contractor to carry out necessary electrical repairs and testing and notify Ergon when the building is safe to have power restored.

Read the full version of our Restoration Plan (PDF).

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