ENERGY crews have been praised for working around the clock to restore power to more than 200,000 buildings after Cyclone Debbie ripped through the state last week.
Power is now fully restored in southeast Queensland, while 80 per cent of those blacked out in north Queensland have been reconnected.
More than 650 power poles were either damaged or snapped when Cyclone Debbie crossed the coast near Bowen in the state’s north last Tuesday and slid into the state’s southeast as an Ex-Tropical Cyclone on Thursday.
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Crews have so far replaced 200kms of cable, 100 transformers, 10,000 fuses, 450 cross arms and 1000 insulators across the state.
The Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the restoration effort had been nothing short of remarkable.
“Of the 170,000 customers that lost power in South East Queensland, all have now been restored where safe to do so, and I want to thank Energex crews for their response in what was very challenging conditions,” Mr Bailey said.
“The restoration effort led by Ergon Energy in North Queensland has restored power to more than 52,000 customers out of 65,000 who lost power.
“That means the 80 per cent target of getting customers restored is two days ahead of schedule (but) the job isn’t done yet and there are still 12,900 customers without power.
Crews from Ergon Energy, Energex and New South Wales’ Essential Energy are continuing to work through repairs to the network in the Mackay, Bowen, and Whitsunday regions as well as Moranbah and Collinsville.
“I am confident the majority of remaining customers will have their power restored – where it is safe to do so – in line with the Restoration Plan released by Ergon Energy last Saturday,” Mr Bailey said.
“The safety of our crews and people in these communities will continue to be our priority during this restoration effort and, unfortunately, in some cases, this will mean delays for some customers but I ask them to continue to be patient.
“We had crews across South East Queensland and North Queensland on the ground getting power back on within days and they’ve done an amazing job given the extent of the damage and significant issues with flooding and access to damaged wires and poles.
“That toll includes 650 damaged and broken poles and over 800 power lines down so far which has required more than 200kms of cable, 100 transformers, 10,000 fuses, 450 cross arms and 1000 insulators replaced so far.
“It’s been a long, hard slog but the commitment of our crews and support of the impacted communities has made these wins possible.”