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Power restored after significant reconstruction of fire-damaged network

Power has been restored to almost all homes and businesses that were affected by the bushfire in Yanchep, Woodbridge and Two Rocks.

The restoration follows a significant rebuild of fire-damaged parts of the network in the Breakwater and Seatrees areas, and individual inspections of all homes and businesses by the WA Electrical Inspectors.

Western Power Head of Operational Maintenance Matt Cheney said more than 70 personnel, along with heavy machinery and equipment, had been working in the Two Rocks area since Monday, when the fire ground was declared safe, to repair the network to get power safely restored as quickly as possible.

“We knew from the size and longevity of the bushfire and the extreme weather conditions that we would have significant damage to the network and customer power outages in the area,” he said.

“In preparation for this, we cancelled planned outage works in the metropolitan area to boost crew numbers and called in extra crews from around the metro area, Mandurah, Waroona, Picton and Vasse depots.

“We also began stockpiling resources and assets at a temporary depot near the Two Rocks townsite to assist with the speed of reconstruction works.

“The collaboration, spirit and professionalism of our crews on the ground, support functions and network operations centre has been fantastic, and we are extremely happy that we have been able to restore power to people in the area ahead of schedule.”

Mr Cheney said it was a challenging past week with Western Power crews dealing with fire damage assets and power outages at a number of different emergency bushfires around the State as well as heatwave conditions.

“In Mogumber, we also had crews attending from multiple regional and metro depots and in Collie our network operations team was helping bushfire suppression efforts by enabling the Boeing 737 firefighting aircraft to dump water loads on the bushfire burning there,” he said.

“Many of our people in the field worked in the heat, smoke and dust and despite the trying conditions the response was managed without any significant incidents or injuries.”

Mr Cheney said the significant work undertaken included:

  • Mogumber: crews replaced more than 20 poles. 
  • Yanchep and Two Rocks: crews replaced more than 150 poles and 15 km of line.
  • WA Electrical Inspectors visited each property to ensure it was safe to reconnect to the network.

“Thanks to the efforts of all involved, in particular the residents and home and business owners for their understanding and support while we worked to have their power safely restored, ahead of schedule.”

Even though our infrastructure has been replaced, homeowners’ power may not yet be back on. There are additional steps that some homeowners may need to take.  When homeowners return to their homes, they need to look for a tag or notification on the status of their electricity supply.

  • If there is a tag that says `Temporary Disconnection’, the homeowner or other person in charge must arrange for an electrical contractor to complete the required works. Once all defects outlined in the information pack have been rectified your supply can be reconnected.
  • If there is a tag that says `Ok to connect’, your connection has been deemed safe and you can switch your power main on.

If you are unsure whether your property has been inspected, please call 13 13 51. 

Power fluctuations may occur when power is restored, so it’s helpful to unplug sensitive appliances prior to reconnecting.  When reconnected, turn on appliances progressively, starting with lights and small appliances. If you experience any shocks, zaps or tingles report them immediately on 13 13 51.

Western Power crews working in the Yanchep fire area