Lightning strike to blame for blackout

A lightning strike from last Thursday. Photo by Robin Dale.
A lightning strike from last Thursday. Photo by Robin Dale.

More than 12,400 households and businesses in Canowindra, Cowra, Grenfell and surrounding rural areas had their power supply interrupted on Friday morning due to a lightning strike during Thursday’s storm.

Manager community relations Northern, David Crough, said the unplanned power outage occurred around 5am after a lightning strike on a power pole caused a powerline joint to burn out.

“Operators in our systems control room recognised the fault was on the main powerline between Cowra and Canowindra,” Mr Crough said.

It took just over an hour for Essential Energy to restore power to 3,347 households and businesses in the Bendick Murrell, Grenfell and Monteagle areas, while power was restored to 7,108 households and businesses in the Cowra area in under 90 minutes.

Power was restored to 1,926 households and businesses in the Canowindra area at 10.10am and to the last 35, who were in the Mandagery area, at 11.25am.

Essential Energy is encouraging residents across regional New South Wales to be prepared for storm season and aware of electrical safety during wild weather events.

Mr Crough, said severe storms could damage homes and the electricity network, causing unplanned power outages for customers.

“Traditionally, the storm season occurs from October through to March but it’s never too late to prepare your property for severe weather by removing debris and overgrown vegetation from around the home and clearing gutters,” David said.

“Residents are advised to have a battery-powered torch handy, along with candles and waterproof matches, and a list of emergency contact numbers including Essential Energy’s 24-hour 13 20 80 number.”