Crews working to restore power
ERGON Energy hope to have power reinstated to all customers by tonight, with crews travelling from across the state today to assist local crews with the massive task.
Senior corporate communications advisor Rod Rehbein said about 27,500 customers in the Bundaberg region had their power supply interrupted by yesterday's storm.
But by this morning crews had already managed to restore power to more than 12,500, leaving about 14,000 still without power as of 10am, as well as about 1000 in the Gin Gin depot area and 150 customers in the Mundubbera area.
Mr Rehbein said some of the crews were travelling from as far afield as the Darling Downs and Rockhampton, along with Energex crews from the South-East were yet to arrive in Bundaberg.
However by lunchtime they were aiming to have in excess of 200 local and out-of-town crews in the field.
He said the main issue was the sheer number of tree branches that had damaged or brought down lines.
"Overwhelmingly it's vegetation coming on to the lines, poles, service lines,” he said.
"We've still got 180-odd areas where there are either lines down, low lying lines or that have trees on them that we've still to get to and repair.
"And with daylight there are still reports coming in that we weren't told about last night.”
Mr Rehbein said faults were identified on 20 separate high-voltage feeder lines, plus there were a significant number of individual service lines down.
"We will be in a better position to indicate restoration times for individual outages later this morning as we have the chance to assess the damage in daylight, including by chopper in rural areas,” he said.
Mr Rehbein said unfortunately crews had also become aware of instances that could have had tragic consequences, after residents moved fallen powerlines following the storm.
"In one case, a fallen line was moved off Walker Street - even though power was out to surrounding homes and businesses, this line could have been live or we could have attempted to re-energise it at that time,” he said.
"In another case, a broken section of line was moved on FE Walker Street. While this wire itself couldn't be live, the sections of line it had broken away from wire nearby and could have been live, particularly as some homes in that area still had power on.”
Anyone who sees a fallen powerline should stay well clear of it and warn others to do the same.
If it is a life-threatening situation call 000 or Ergon on 13 22 96.