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Electrical restoration work begins

4pm update

Our crews have now been given the all clear to fully assess damage to the electricity network throughout the fire-affected areas of the Esperance region.

Aerial and ground patrols reveal significant damage to infrastructure with at least 170 poles burned down – and that number is expected to increase as the patrols continue.

There are 329 customers currently without power in the Esperance region. We hope to have power restored to some customers tomorrow in the Grass Patch and Salmon Gums townsites and will provide further updates as we begin to restore power to those customers.

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 today 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. Our linies are just getting in to assess the damage today and we need to rebuild the network before power can be restored,” Mr Mickel said.

General Manager NIS Business Craig Julian said work would concentrate in the areas where power could be restored to the most customers.

Additional crews from Powerlines Plus and Western Power are due to arrive to support the restoration effort, with more cranes and cherry pickers, tomorrow and Saturday.

“Most of the areas without power now are evacuated. We will throw all of our resources at rebuilding the significantly damaged network to ensure our customers have power as soon as is possible,” Mr Julian said.

“But work cannot begin in most affected areas until the fire is fully contained and we are given the all clear to go in.”

Horizon Power wants to ensure the safety of all customers and the general public and urges customers returning to their properties to contact a licensed electrical contractor before connecting to alternative sources of power.

“It is going to take Horizon Power time to reenergise the supply, so we appreciate the patience of our customers during this difficult time,” Mr Julian said.

Please stay clear of all electrical assets, in particular fallen powerlines. Call 13 23 51 to report a fault or emergency.

For media queries, please call the medialine 1800 799 745.

2.30pm update

Work has begun in the Scaddan area of Esperance today where crews are beginning to rebuild the network to begin the process of restoring power to the 329 customers currently without power.

However, it appears weather conditions have just changed again and work there may be hampered with winds picking up again.

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 today 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. Our linies are just getting in to assess the damage today and we need to rebuild the network before power can be restored,” Mr Mickel said.

Aerial inspections have identified at least 150 damaged poles and that number is expected to increase as we are able to get in to more areas to inspect the network.

Power may not be restored to many of the 329 customers for more than a week though we are working as hard as we can and hope to have power restored to some customers in Scaddan and the townships of Grass Patch and Salmon Gums sooner.

General Manager NIS Business Craig Julian said work would concentrate in the areas where power could be restored to the most customers.

Additional crews from Powerlines Plus and Western Power are due to arrive to support the restoration effort, with more cranes and cherry pickers, tomorrow and Saturday.

“Most of the areas without power now are evacuated. We will throw all of our resources at rebuilding the significantly damaged network to ensure our customers have power as soon as is possible,” Mr Julian said.

“But work cannot begin in most affected areas until the fire is fully contained and we are given the all clear to go in.”

Please stay clear of all electrical assets, in particular fallen powerlines. Call 13 23 51 to report a fault or emergency.

For media queries, please call the medialine 1800 799 745.

 

 

10.30am update

Work is due to begin later today in the Scaddan area of Esperance where crews can now enter to access at least 25 power poles which have burned down.

Aerial inspections have identified at least 150 damaged poles and that number is expected to increase as we are able to get in to areas to inspect the network.

Power is unlikely to be restored to most customers until at least a week though we hope to have those customers in the Scaddan area restored to power sooner. We have approximately 329 customers now without power.

General Manager NIS Business Craig Julian said work would concentrate in the areas where power could be restored to the most customers.

Additional crews from Powerlines Plus and Western Power are due to arrive to support the restoration effort, with more cranes and cherry pickers, tomorrow and Saturday.

“Most of the areas without power now are evacuated. We will throw a lot of resources at rebuilding the significantly damaged network to ensure our customers have power as soon as is possible,” Mr Julian said.

“But work cannot begin in most affected areas until the fire is fully contained and we are given the all clear to go in.”

“We would like again to thank everyone in the community for their support, particularly for the firefighters and other emergency services workers who are at most risk. Everyone has pulled together. We ask for our customers to be patient during the restoration process because rest assured we are throwing everything we have at this restoration effort,” Mr Julian said.

Customers impacted are mainly in the Salmon Gums, Grass Patch and Scaddan areas.

Power was restored to hundreds of customers in the Dalyup and Munglinup areas yesterday.

Please stay clear of all electrical assets, in particular fallen powerlines. Call 13 23 51 to report a fault or emergency.

For media queries, please call the medialine 1800 799 745.