Ergon Energy has finalised plans to restore power to 80 per cent of customers impacted by flooding in Far North Queensland by 10 February 2019, with the final 20 per cent to regain power just two days later.
Ergon’s Executive General Manager for Distribution, Paul Jordon, said that 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,” Mr Jordon 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.”
Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.
After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.