More than 9000 Ergon Energy customers from Stanthorpe to Bundaberg had their power supply interrupted by fierce winds on Friday night and Saturday. Crews worked through Friday night and for most of Saturday, sometimes in appalling conditions, to restore power to almost all customers.
One of the worst affected areas was the Gin Gin hinterland, where six spans of high-voltage powerlines came down across the river about 3am on Saturday, interrupting the power supply to about 350 customers. Power has been restored to all apart from three pump stations and crews will return on Monday to complete the repairs.
Another challenge for crews was at Applethorpe, where a large pine tree came down on high-voltage powerlines on the New England Highway at 2.30am on Saturday, affecting about 1400 customers in the Stanthorpe region. Crews needed the assistance of additional machinery to remove the tree, so power could be restored before 1.30pm.
A further 1500 customers in the Stanthorpe region were affected by two other separate power supply interruptions on Saturday with a handful of customers not having their power restored until Sunday morning.
Other major power supply interruptions included:
• 1400 customers in Kearneys Spring and Middle Ridge for up to three hours from 4.10pm on Friday due to fallen powerlines.
• 1100 customers in Woodgate Beach and Buxton from 10.30pm on Friday until 12.45am on Saturday when powerlines came down on Coaches Road.
• 1200 customers on the southern outskirts of Bundaberg for 80 minutes from 5.35pm on Friday.
• 1750 customers in Scarness, Torquay, Urangan and Kawungan from 7.45pm on Friday up to 2am on Saturday due to damage to the network.
• 200 customers near Kingaroy from 10.05pm on Friday until 10.30am on Saturday because two poles came down in extremely wet locations.
• 150 customers in the Wondai region from 5.35am up to 1.50pm on Saturday due to a pole top fire near Charlestown in an area without immediate access for crews.
Several hundred customers across the vast area, including significant numbers in the Toowoomba and Maryborough areas, were affected by smaller outages to the high-voltage network or because their service lines came down.
Ergon Energy call centre operators reported that most customers had been understanding about the circumstances that led to the power supply interruptions and Ergon Energy thanks them for the patience while the damage was repaired.
In an unrelated incident, the power supply to about 120 customers in East and Central Toowoomba was interrupted from 11.30pm on Saturday until 1am on Sunday while crews repaired damaged to a pole struck in a motor vehicle accident.
Ergon Energy Corporate Communications Manager Rod Rehbein (07) 4122 5371