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Tropical Cyclone Rusty

Release Date: 28-02-2013

Horizon Power has restored power supplies to all of its customers in Port Hedland following days of cyclonic conditions that battered the town.

Horizon Power Network Asset Management Coordinator Ray Deall said as of 4.30 pm, two customers were experiencing part power (dim lights) and two other customers were waiting on an electrician to check their internal house wiring before Horizon Power could reconnect their power.

Horizon Power also had to disconnect power to the community of Nullagine for an hour today while State Emergency Service volunteers, already in the town, assisted with removing a branch from a powerline, thereby making it safe.

Just after Tropical Cyclone Rusty crossed the coast yesterday afternoon, Horizon Power was given the all clear by local emergency services to begin patrolling the lines. We have restored power to more than 300 customers since then. Over the past few days, Horizon Power restored power to more than 3,000 customers in Port Hedland by clearing faults remotely from the Karratha Control Centre.  

“Horizon Power has shown once again its professionalism and skill at dealing with emergency situations,” Horizon Power General Manager Operations ZiggyWilk said.

“Port Hedland escaped the worst of Rusty and the damage to our infrastructure was minimal."

Mr Wilk said he also wanted to thank those who had offered support to Horizon Power crews, including Western Power and our Pilbara Underground Power Project contractors. He said the severe weather had once again highlighted the importance of underground power.

A small number of customers in South Hedland who have recently been connected to underground power did lose power supplies as a result of Tropical Cyclone Rusty as they are still currently connected to the overhead network.

Release date: 27-02-2013  5 pm

Port Hedland escaped the worst of Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty, with the cyclone commencing to cross the coast to the east of De Grey at 2.55 pm this afternoon; however the town remains on Red Alert. The State Emergency Service gave Horizon Power the authority to inspect the network ahead of the Red Alert warning being lifted to ensure, as far as possible, that any potential electrical hazards identified did not present a safety risk to residents.

Horizon Power General Manager Operations Ziggy Wilk said Horizon Power was able to restore power to these customers, by isolating the fault to a small section of the network.

“One fault, on the Munda feeder line that supplies customers in Wedgefield, resulted in loss of power supplies to 250 customers; however, within a few minutes of inspecting the line we have been able to isolate this fault and restore power supplies to 225 customers.”

Mr Wilk said the line crews are now working to restore power supplies to the remaining 55 customers without power.

“Our crews are now focused on restoring power these 55 residences and we will work to do this as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.

Timeline of events

27 February 2013  

4.30 pm – Horizon Power line crews inspecting infrastructure. Power supplies successfully restored to 225 customers. High winds still prohibit the use of some equipment.

2.55 pm – Tropical Cyclone Rusty commences to cross the coast. Approximately 280 customers without power.

9.30 am – Two hundred and fifty customers remain without power.  

7 am – A fault on the Rutherford feeder leaves 2,000 in South Hedland without power supplies but again, Horizon Power is able to remotely restore power to these customers after only a 30 minute interruption.  

26 February 2013  

2.30 pm - Horizon Power is able to remotely switch the majority of impacted customers back on after isolating a fault. Horizon Power is able to remotely assess the network to identify the cause of the outage and restore power if the fault does not require physical intervention or present a safety risk. Approximately 250 customers remain with power.

12.00 pm – Horizon Power successfully restores power to the 2,000 customers in South Hedland but a new fault, recorded at 12.15 pm, results in loss of power supplies to 250 customers in South Hedland.

11.00 am – A further seven hundred and fifty customers in Wedgefield without power supplies.  8.15 am - Fault on Rutherford feeder results in loss of power supplies to approximately 2,000 customers in South Hedland. 

8.15 am – A fault on Rutherford feeder results in loss of power supplies to approximately 2,000 customers in South Hedland.   

Horizon Power advises residents to observe the following:

  • Do not at any stage go near a fallen powerline. Always assume a fallen powerline is live and stay well clear.
  • Do not use any electrical appliances that have been damaged or submerged in water.
  • Warn children not to play or swim in floodwaters as there may be unseen live and dangerous electrical wiring or fallen powerlines which may be hidden by debris in the water.
  • Report any faults or emergencies to Horizon Power on 13 23 51.

When to report a fault

All electrical faults and emergencies should be reported immediately to Horizon Power on 13 23 51.

Flickering lights need not be reported unless you experience part power. Flickering lights may be caused by our safety protection devices called reclosers operating on the network. The reclosers briefly interrupt power supplies when there is a interferrence (for example a tree branch) on the network. If the interferrence is removed without physical intervention, power supplies are restored.  The activation of the reclosers is a sign that the network is operating as it should.

Release date: 26-02-2013 3 pm

Horizon Power has managed to restore power supplies to most of our customers who lost power today as a result of Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty.

By midday, Horizon Power linecrews had restored power to 2,000 customers in South Hedland who lost power just after 8am this morning due to the destructive winds associated with TC Rusty.

A number of new faults on the network caused loss of power supplies to a further 1,000 customers across Wedgefield and South Hedland just after 11am.

By 2.30 pm, Horizon Power was able to remotely switch 748 of those customers back on after isolating a fault.

At present, there are a total of 278 customers in South Hedland without power.

General Manager Operations Ziggy Wilk said Horizon Power linecrews and control centre staff were working tirelessly to ensure that any customers who lost power could have that power restored.

However, due to the destructive winds, Horizon Power is only able to restore power when it is safe to do so.

“Our line crews have done a magnificent job restoring power to the 2,748 customers and they are now on stand-by until after the cyclone has passed to ensure their safety and that of the community,” he said. 

Release date: 26-02-2013 1.15 pm

Power supplies were restored at midday to the 2,000 customers in South Hedland affected by an unplanned power interruption this morning as a result of Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty. A number of new faults on the network have caused loss of power supplies to a further 1,000 customers across Wedgefield and South Hedland.

General Manager Ziggy Wilk said Horizon Power successfully restored power supplies to customers in South Hedland but for safety reasons had made the decision to disconnect power supplies to 750 customers in Wedgefield at 11 am this morning. 

Another fault, recorded at 12.15 pm, resulted in loss of power supplies to a further 250 customers in South Hedland.

Mr Wilk said that as Port Hedland was now on Red Alert, line crews would not be able to isolate the fault as they had with this morning’s incident.

“Our line crews did a magnificent job restoring power to the 2,000 customers before the Red Alert was called but are now on stand-by until after the cyclone has passed to ensure their safety and that of the community,” he said. 

Horizon Power will provide the community with regular updates about the status of power supplies and any restoration work.

Release date: 26-02-2013 9 am

Approximately 2,000 customers in South Hedland are without power supplies as a result of the high winds from Tropical Cyclone Rusty. Power supplies were interrupted at approximately 8.15 am this morning.

Horizon Power has inspected the infrastructure and identified a fallen powerline as the cause of the unplanned power interruption. Horizon Power is unable to undertake restoration work at present, as wind speeds in Port Hedland and South Hedland have already exceeded the safe operational limits which allow crews to respond to faults.

Horizon Power will provide the community with regular updates about the status of power supplies and any restoration work.

Horizon Power line crews are on stand-by and will carry out restoration of the electricity network and respond to fault calls as soon as it is safe to do so. Additional line crews from our other sites are also available to assist with restoring power supplies as quickly as possible.

Release Date: 25-02-2013

Horizon Power has extra linecrew travelling from Karratha to Port Hedland today to assist with any restoration work that is expected to result from Cyclone Rusty.

Tropical Cyclone Rusty is currently of Category 2 intensity and is forecast to strengthen to a Category 4 cyclone before crossing the coast on Wednesday. The system is already associated with very strong winds and heavy rainfall, and is expected to result in strong storm surges in the Hedland area.

Horizon Power is also re-directing crews from our Esperance depot to Karratha in the event that Cyclone Rusty moves further west and crosses the coast between Port Hedland and Whim Creek. It is currently expected to cross between Port Hedland and Wallal.

Horizon Power contractors have backfilled all of the trenches in South Hedland related to our Pilbara Underground Power Project and their crews are on standby to assist if required.

Horizon Power has prepared all of its systems in the region and is prepared for flooding in Marble Bar and Nullagine.

Our crews are ready to respond to any faults but may not be able to attend immediately if it is not safe to do so.

Horizon Power will provide the community with regular updates about the status of power supplies and any restoration work.

Contact Reference: Jennifer Fry (0409 083 931) - Phone: Roman Raudonikis (0419 922 465)

Last updated: Thursday, 28 February 2013 5:35 PM