Western Power crews identified and repaired damage on a power pole that caused an interruption to the supply of electricity in Kalbarri affecting about 1200 customers on Thursday, 6 March 2014.
Crews started inspecting the lines searching for a fault from the ground shortly after the interruption began about 9:30am. They also arranged for a helicopter to be sent from Perth to conduct aerial patrols to cover the large area.
Western Power Regional North Manager, Adrian Stewart said when an outage occurs during times of increased fire risk or in bushfire prone areas, our crews have to visually inspect the power lines for hazards before we can attempt to restore power.
“As a safety precaution on hot days we go out and look at the lines to make sure they haven’t been broken or damaged before we can switch the power back on. When you consider the size of the area we have to cover, it does take quite a bit of time to get that done, but it’s worth it in the long run to help prevent a bushfire.”
“We know it’s frustrating for our customers to be without power for a long time when the temperature climbs above 38 degrees, but these precautions are essential to ensure the safety of the community and we’d like to thank everyone affected for their understanding and patience,” he said.
Normally customers have to be without power for 12 consecutive hours to be eligible for $80 under the State Government’s extended outage payment scheme.
“Given that this Kalbarri interruption was just minutes under the cut off time, and the hot temperatures meant we had to follow safety procedures to restore electricity, Western Power invites Kalbarri residents to apply for a special exemption.” Adrian said.
Western Power crews are continually working in the Mid-West to improve the safety and reliability of the network.
“Over the next few months you’ll see crews silicone coating insulators on many poles in and around Kalbarri, Northampton and Dongara to help prevent arcing that can be caused when the lines get dusty and the weather starts to get more humid.”
“We are also continuing our efforts to inspect, reinforce and replace poles and power lines in the region.” Adrian said.
Western Power is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to more than one million customers who are connected to our network.
For more information log onto our website www.westernpower.com.au, follow us on Twitter @westernpowerwa and like us on Facebook/westernpowerwa.