The crews at Western Power had one of the busiest summer periods on record with bushfires and storms wreaking havoc on the electricity network (WA).

Head of Field Operations, Brad Lacey, said crews worked around the clock, week in week out, either safely restoring power through storms or rebuilding the network after fires.

“There was hardly a break as fires and storms ravaged the state. We had crews working around the clock at the end of January restoring power during the week of unusual lightning storms while at the same time other crews were called on to replace poles burnt in the Waroona fires.

“During the series of lightning storms more than 200,000 customers experienced a power interruption at one time or another.

“Frequently the power could be restored automatically, but there were numerous incidents where the electricity network was damaged by direct strikes.

“The lightning storms were closely followed a period of intense work replacing more than 200 poles burnt in the Bullsbrook fire.

“The conditions Western Power crews work in through storms and after bushfires are often very challenging,” he said.

Major works included:

  • Bullsbrook bushfire (January 11) – 220 poles replaced, 11 transformers replaced
  • Perth storm recovery (January 29) – 30 poles replaced, 3 transformers replaced
  • Waroona bushfire (January 29) – 10 poles replaced and other network damage
  • North regional and Metro storm recovery (February 2-9) – 50 transmission poles replaced
  • Boddington bushfires (February 2-9) – substation and transmission line washing
  • Northcliffe bushfire (February 10 – 15) – 135 poles replaced.

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