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Restoration efforts hampered by fires jumping containment lines

6.00pm update

Restoration efforts hampered by fires jumping containment lines.

Efforts to restore power to the remaining 135 customers without power were hampered today by fires jumping containment lines in the Cape Le Grande and Merivale areas. Horizon Power crews supported by Powerlines Plus instead concentrated on the Scadden and Cascades area and were able to restore power to 13 properties.

Over 300 poles were significantly damaged or burnt down in the fires and General Manager NIS business Craig Julian acknowledged that the situation could have been even worse without earlier Government investment in steel poles.

“Thankfully through Government investment in replacement of wooden poles with steel poles, the damage to our network, though significant, has been reduced because of the pole replacement program over the last few years.” Mr Julian said.

Efforts tomorrow (Sunday) will be focused on getting power restored to as many customers as possible and Horizon Power appreciates the patience of the Esperance community who have been so supportive of our crews and contractors.

We’ve had farmers and their families providing our crews with hot meals and support and that means so much to us, particularly as many of these people have been affected by the fires themselves.” Mr Julian said.

122 customers are still without power in the Cape Le Grande, Cascade and Merivale areas out towards Gibson and Condingup.

Customers and the general public are reminded to stay clear of all electrical assets, in particular fallen powerlines. Call 13 23 51 to report a fault or emergency.

For media queries, please call the media line 1800 799 745.

9.00am update

Horizon Power thanks customers for patience as crews focus on network restoration.

Horizon Power crews are continuing to make progress to restore power to customers in the towns of Gibson and Condingup to the North and East of Esperance, however efforts have been hampered by significant damage to more than 300 poles.

Horizon Power crews supported by Powerlines Plus will focus efforts on network restoration on Saturday to maximise the number of customers we can restore power to at one time.

Horizon Power General Manager NIS Business thanked customers for their patience and their support of crews during the last few challenging days.

“We are so grateful for the patience and support of the Esperance community who have been providing food for our crews and helping us access poles and other infrastructure to enable us to repair the network as soon as possible.

We understand customers want to get power on as soon as possible but it is essential that anyone wishing to connect generators consults a licenced electrical contractor first. Any attempts to connect generator power could inadvertently connect back to the Horizon Power system which could endanger other customers and our staff.” Mr Julian said.

135 customers are still without power in the Gibson and Condingup area.

Please stay clear of all electrical assets, in particular fallen powerlines. Call 13 23 51 to report a fault or emergency. For more information, call the media line 1800 799 745.