ERGON Energy crews have been busy mopping up ex tropical cyclone Dylan's damage in Central Queensland since Thursday night.
While the cyclone may have crossed the coast early yesterday morning and since degenerated inland into a rain depression, Ergon crews across Central Region from Gladstone in the south, north to Mackay and Whitsundays and west to the Central Highlands were again out in force last night for the second night in a row mopping up damage and reinstating remaining customers in the wake of the Cyclone's category 2 gale force winds and heavy rain.
General Manager Service Delivery Central Steve Leighton said while the majority of customers affected by the cyclone on Thursday night and yesterday were back on line yesterday evening , Ergon crews were today pulling out all stops to get remaining customers (at the time of compiling 76 across the region - 12 in Mackay area and 67 across CQ) back on line who had been affected by this event.
"We started yesterday morning with around 5,500 customers off line across the region (around 3,000 in Mackay and around 2,500 across Central Queensland) and worked through yesterday and last night to repair the damage, get affected customers back on line and deal with additional weather related faults that came in."
"From Ergon's perspective the impact of the cyclone on our network was far greater on Thursday night prior to the main event when the cyclone crossed the coast in the early hours of Friday morning. We had upwards of 12,000 customers off line in Mackay and the Whitsunday's at one stage on Thursday night, the majority of which were restored that night using crews on a rotational basis to enable a full response the next day. Other notable impacts were on the Capricorn Coast where a gum tree fell across high voltage equipment disrupting 1,900 customers and out at the Gemfields where a cross arm was damaged disrupting power to 1,169 customers" he said.
"To move from this position and get affected customers back on supply so quickly is a reflection of the tremendous effort put in by all the Ergon staff and contractors who were part of the response effort."
"In total we had 311 field staff committed to this restoration effort and put simply they did a great job in what could only be described as sometimes challenging and unpleasant conditions. I thank them for their commitment in getting supply back on so quickly in what was in reality a pretty major event" he said.
Additional staff were brought from Bundaberg in to assist with restoration around Gladstone and Ergon crews from the Central West and the Highlands, Townsville and Hinchinbrook were brought in to assist with repairs and restoration in Mackay.
"Our focus today is mopping up the small number of remaining customers at Eungella, Strathdickie, Seaforth, Old Twin Hills and Bathhampton SWER's near Clermont, Bedford Weir and Spring Valley SWER near Claiview who will all be reinstated progressively throughout the day.
"The most pleasing aspect of this event is we responded very quickly and effectively for our customers in a safe manner" he said.