Here we go again, South Australians powerless to stop outages from foreign controlled energy company S.A. Power Networks – Mick Raven
SA suffers lengthy blackout on west coast after storm damage
25th Dec 2016
Storm damage to electricity infrastructure on South Australia’s west coast has been repaired after some locals were left without any supply for more than a day.
Lightning struck a high-voltage power line extending west from Wudinna, cutting supply to more than 4,000 homes and businesses in Ceduna and surrounding west coast towns.
SA Power Networks said its repair team was on the job from first light on Saturday to make repairs.
Elliston had power again by late morning, and towns including Ceduna and Streaky Bay battled on without their supplies until Saturday afternoon.
Local Liberal MP Peter Treloar said the 66-kilovault line took about a day to fix.
“Unreliability remains a significant issue and cost,” he tweeted. “Time to reinstall local generating capacity.”
Elliston Mayor Kym Callaghan said phones were also out, which created a potential risk in hot weather for both locals and holiday travellers through the outback region.
“There are some tourists [who] once their mobile phone goes off they get a bit lost,” he said.
“They need to restrict their travel because if they have an incident on the road, there’s going to be no coverage and they’re not going to get any help.”
A wind gust of 111 kilometres per hour was recorded at Ceduna during Friday’s storm.
Outages ‘beyond a joke’
It is the third prolonged blackout in the west coast region of SA in about three months after storms damaged power lines twice during September.
Customers took to the SA Power Networks Facebook page, some in support of the workers toiling in today’s heat to repair the damage but others scathing of the latest outage.
“Better have Xmas a day early so the food doesn’t go off,” Josephine Graham wrote.
“Feel for everyone concerned especially the guys fixing the lines — maybe sharing a fruit mince pie with them will make everyone appreciate the job getting done!”
Toni Miller wrote: “Spare a thought for the crews who have to work in this horrible weather to make our lives more convenient and comfortable.”
Streaky Bay Mayor Travis Barber said the string of outages was “getting beyond a joke”.
“The last one went for three-and-a-half days. We’ve got people running around trying to buy ice. Everyone’s got all the food for Christmas organised,” he said.
“You’ve got tourists down the caravan park [with] prawns and strawberries and cherries and they’re all trying to buy ice.”
Mr Barber said local business operators and council staff were being kept very busy trying to help the influx of Christmas holidaymakers.
“They’ve worked throughout the night trying to keep generators running to empty sewer pits of the caravan park and of the local hospital,” he said.
He said his area had not suffered the stormy weather directly, but had been affected when damage happened elsewhere.
“In the city it goes off for a few hours, over here we’re out for a few days at least. It seems we’re the first ones shut off and the last ones to come back on and that’s the real frustrating thing.”