Fire conditions impact electricity supply
Update 4 PM. A total of about 35,000 customers have lost power since 6am this morning (Friday, 8/12) as a trifecta of severe weather conditions continues across South Australia, with catastrophic bushfire risk, dry lightning and strong winds.
Most of these customers have been affected by the direct impact of weather conditions on the network. About 13,000 of the total had power proactively disconnected by SA Power Networks to reduce the risk of a fire start.
SA Power Networks has been monitoring and responding to bushfire conditions in the eastern Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Mid North, Flinders and the Riverland.
“We had a number of outages in these areas caused by the weather conditions,” said Paul Roberts, Head of Corporate Affairs.
“We also have had to disconnect supply to parts of the network where catastrophic fire conditions put the community at risk,” he said.
Disconnection impacted about 800 customers supplied by lines that go through and around the Wirrabara State Forest north-east of Port Pirie at about 12.30pm. About 12,000 customers were impacted by disconnection of supply in an area around Hamley Bridge, Wasleys, Templers and Gawler Belt at around 2.30pm.
“We will reconnect electricity supply to impacted customers in these areas as soon as we see an easing of the fire danger and weather conditions,” Paul said.
Meanwhile, SA Power Networks is preparing for a significant storm event impacting the metropolitan area, Mt Lofty Ranges, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island on Sunday evening and into Monday.
“Strong easterly wind gusts of up to 100km/h are forecast as well as intense gully winds in the Ranges. These are the sort of conditions which have caused significant network issues in the past so we have a long weekend ahead of us.”
Members of the public are reminded to keep at least 10 metres clear of downed powerlines and report them to SA Power Networks on 13 13 66.