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23/03/2010 – Western Power is struggling to reconnect power

Western Power is struggling to reconnect power to nearly 90,000 homes blacked out by last night’s storm.

Western Power says extensive damage to its network, including substations and major transmission lines, means that some homes may not get power for days.   It is unlikely power to any further major transmission infrastructure will be restored until about 10.30 this morning, but Western Power expects power to bulk transmission sites to be mostly restored by about 3pm.

Western Power expects a large number of customers to be without power again this evening, with fewer numbers to remain off for several days.

Western Power’s call centre received over 75,000 calls yesterday, and at the storm’s peak, at 7pm yesterday, there were 158,000 properties without power.   The largest area blacked out is in the Canning Vale area where lightning struck a Westeern Power sub station yard, causing a pole to fall over on to vital equipment and cutting power to six major lines.

This morning there were 17,000 customers still without power in Canning Vale.   About 9000 customers lost power at 3am in Wanneroo after lightning cut power in that area.   There have also been widespread feeder trips across the metropolitan area including Southern River, Kalamunda, North Beach, Mullaloo, Welshpool, Bentley and Lansdale.

Five feeders are off to the north of Perth, mostly around Moora, affecting 700 customers.   Four feeders are off in the south west affecting 1000 customers.

Western Power has asked customers to refrain from contacting its 13 13 51 fault line, other than to report hazards or emergencies such as fallen powerlines.

Source Perthnow

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