Palmerston Highway

Ergon Energy has advised that approximately 90 per cent of customers impacted by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper were restored by 9pm on 16 December 2023, while 4,300 customers remained without electricity supply at that time.

This figure is down from the peak of 40,000. With a flood emergency currently in place, the number of power outages associated with the secondary event is continuing to grow.

As at 3pm on 17 December 2023, around 12,000 customers are without electricity supply.

Please note: As this number changes, ensure you check the current accurate status of outage numbers on the Ergon Energy Outage Finder.

The outages include:

  • Cairns Regional Council – 6,500
  • Cassowary Coast Regional Council – 1,200 
  • Cook Shire 250
  • Douglas Shire Council – 1,500
  • Mareeba – 2,200
  • Wujal Wujal – 100

More than 1.2m of rain has fallen on the Daintree and Mossman catchment since 13 December 2023, and heavy rainfall is forecast for the coming days. 

This continues to create difficult work conditions for Ergon Energy crews and significant access issues with flooded roads hampering restoration efforts. 

Restoration to impacted customers in the Daintree area cannot commence until flooding of the Daintree River subsides. The recent rain and forecast for continuing heavy downpours continues to restrict all access by crews.

The Bureau of Meteorology advises very heavy rainfall and flash flooding is expected to continue until at least the evening of 18 December 2023. Emergency flood alerts have been issued for Cairns, Biboohra, Cassowary Coast, Port Douglas and Mossman areas.

This has made safe access into sections of impacted electricity network (whether by road or helicopter) impossible at this time.

To ensure the safety of crews in these dangerous conditions, Ergon Energy crews in Mareeba, Atherton and Cairns are only responding to life threatening emergencies where it’s safe for them to do so.

Restoration timeframes for anyone currently experiencing a power outage cannot be provided until crews are able to safely access impacted areas of the network (noting severe weather and flooding delays) and for the extent of physical damage to the electricity network to be properly assessed.

Featured image: Flooding on the Palmerston Highway. Courtesy of Ergon Energy.

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