Ergon investigates power outage

ERGON Energy is investigating a delay in the restoration of power to about 7500 households in Warwick and surrounding areas on Tuesday night after the outage which lasted several hours.

A storm which passed to the west and south of Warwick late in the afternoon caused damage to what Ergon said were “multiple powerlines”, with supply not restored fully until after 10pm.

Customers in west Warwick were without power, along with Allora and rural areas to the east of Warwick serviced by the Swan Creek feeder line.

It is understood that a delay in local Ergon repair crews receiving clearance from their control room in Rockhampton held up repairs locally.

An Ergon spokesman yesterday conceded there had been a delay in authorising the repairs due to a “safety-related process”.

“Approvals are needed both to access (damaged sections) of the network and to restore supply,” he said.

“Both processes involve an interaction between crews in the field and the control centre staff in Rockhampton.

“This process is designed to confirm the assets in a damaged section of the network are isolated and earthed before re-energisation occurs, which ensures the safety of crews and the community.”

The Ergon spokesman said there were a number of requests for similar work submitted “in a short time-frame on Tuesday”.

“At this stage, it is not possible to accurately break down the time taken for various stages of the response,” he said.

“However, a report on Tuesday night’s outage will be prepared, as is standard for all outages involving significant impact on customers.

“It will then be reviewed at a regular meeting that considers how to expedite the restoration of power.”

Tuesday’s blackout left some “pockets” of town with power, notably the southern end of Palmerin Street in the Warwick Central Business District (CBD).

The Ergon spokesman said some areas were supplied by different feeder lines from the same substation.

“In general terms, in the town area, Albion Street is mostly supplied from the East Warwick substation, except between King and Wood Sts, where the west side of Albion St is mainly supplied from West Warwick substation,” he said.

“Palmerin St – between Condamine and Wood Sts – is mostly supplied from the West Warwick substation.

“Generally speaking, the New England Highway is the boundary going out of town to the south to Rosenthal Heights, but it also crosses over after that so Silverwood is supplied from the West sub.”

He said Allan, Toolburra, the Leslie Dam area, Wheatvale, Cunningham, Montrose, Greymare, Thane and up towards Bony Mountain were supplied from West.

“There will always be instances where neighbours are supplied by different feeders and more commonly where people on opposite sides of the street, or backing on to each other, are supplied from different feeders,” he said.

“If people want to know which substation and feeder usually supplies them, the information is on the front page of their power bills.”

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