5 January 2022

Thousands still without power as emergency storm response continues

| Karyn Starmer
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tree down on road

At the height of the storm, around 21,000 homes and businesses were without power across Belconnen and Gungahlin. Photo: Melanie Broadbent.

Around 2500 Canberra households remain without power following the severe thunderstorms that lashed Canberra’s northern suburbs on Monday (3 January).

The storm caused extensive damage to homes and infrastructure with Evoenergy reporting critical damage to the ACT’s electricity network.

At the height of the storm, about 21,000 homes and businesses were without power across Belconnen and Gungahlin and, as of Wednesday 5 January 2022, 2497 remain without power.

Evoenergy says it is rotating all available staff on shifts to manage the response and restore power as quickly and safely as possible but it expects some homes and businesses may remain without power until tomorrow.

Evoenergy Acting General Manager Alison Davis says the damage to the electricity network is the most severe observed in the ACT for many years.

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“At Evoenergy we’ve seen serious and extreme conditions, but the weather on Monday afternoon has resulted in some of the worst damage to our network on record,” Ms Davis said.

“Our crews are highly trained and are continuing to work as safely and quickly as possible, but working to repair the type of damage we’ve assessed over the past two days is complex, time-consuming and incredibly challenging.

“Our crews are working meticulously and methodically to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all workers and the broader community, as efforts continue around the clock.

“We’re working closely with the ACT Emergency Services Agency to prioritise the assessments of damage and conduct repairs. We’re coordinating efforts to ensure we’re as efficient and effective as possible as we work through the high volume of incidents.

“Right now, I want to assure Canberrans that we’ll keep going till we get the job done.”

With further storms forecast this week Evoenergy says it is carefully planning resourcing over the coming days to ensure it has crews available in the event of more extreme weather.

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The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a very high chance of showers for the remainder of the week and into early next week with thunderstorms likely and possibly severe.

Heavy rainfall is possible on Friday increasing the risk of flash flooding.

For information on reported storm-related incidents visit Evoenergy, for information about weather warnings visit BOM and for the ACT Emergency Services Agency response visit ESA.

Original Article published by Karyn Starmer on Riotact.

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