Horizon Power has confirmed more than 170 electricity poles were burned down in the Esperance region (WA) after severe bushfires.
After given the all clear from fire crew, Horizon Power used aerial patrols and ground crews to survey the damage.
At the time up to 450 people were without power in the Salmon Gums, Grass Patch and Scaddan areas.
Once the all clear was given by DFES Horizon Power flew an additional four to five crews in to Esperance to assist in the restoration effort.
Horizon Power crews were given approval to enter the Cascades area and begin work on the replacement of four power poles burned down there. Once that work was complete, power was restored to more customers.
General Manager NIS Business, Craig Julian, said he expected up to 200 poles had been lost to the fires and Horizon Power was fully prepared with crews and equipment to begin the restoration work as soon as crews were allowed into those areas.
“We expect the damage to our assets in the bush fire affected areas to be significant and it could be several days before we can restore power to those areas where poles and wires have been burned down,” Mr Julian said.
Horizon Power Chairman, Ian Mickel, who is a member of the local community and past president of the Shire of Esperance, addressed evacuated residents at the community centre and explained that it could be some time before power could be restored to customers because crews were unable to access parts of the network that were very badly damaged.
“This is a very difficult time for residents in the Esperance region – our farms are our livelihood and the damage to properties and livestock is just beginning to be realised. The situation is the same with our electrical network. We’re getting in to assess the damage and we need to rebuild the network before power can be restored,” Mr Mickel said.