Recovery work to repair extensive damage to the Western Power network from last week’s storms is nearing completion, with power restored to most homes and businesses impacted.
There are now around 900 customers remaining without power including around 40 in Perth Hills, and 860 in the Wheatbelt - the largest area impacted by storm and bushfire. In the Wheatbelt, there are currently 24 multi-customer outages, some of which are from bushfires early last week.
Western Power Acting CEO Jacqui Hall said those homes and businesses without power were being kept up-to-date and we are aiming to have all power restored as soon as possible, hopefully by end of the week. Estimated restoration times for each outage are now available on Western Power website.
“I know these power outages are of significant duration and I understand the impact they are having on families and businesses, but we assure those affected that we’re working as quickly and as safely as we can,” she said.
“The recovery work has been mammoth, the storms damaged infrastructure across the network from the Wheatbelt to Perth Hills area.
“We’ve had 700 plus workers from all depots attending repairs and addressing more than 300 hazards across a vast area of the network.
“Work has involved repairing and replacing around 220 poles, 25 transformers, around 21kms of conductor in the distribution network in Perth Hills, Wongan Hills and the Wheatbelt.
“In the Wheatbelt alone there were 142 poles damaged and repair work required 10,000 asset patrols. What the numbers don’t show is the size of the network and the distances crews must travel with equipment and machinery.
“To ensure community safety, patrols are required before we can safely re-energise. Thousands of patrols have been completed by vehicle and helicopter.”
Ms Hall said a dedicated project team consisting of engineering and construction personnel had been tasked with developing the rebuild of the 220kV transmission line near Kondinin.
“We’re fast tracking this work and have been preparing for the rebuild since the storm last Thursday with specialist drilling and construction equipment and steel poles already on site and construction exploration work starting last Sunday,” she said.
“The rebuild work includes drilling into rock to install 12 steel poles to replace the five damaged transmission towers. Following this the poles will be installed, and conductors re-strung before final checks and energisation of the line. We aim to have construction completed early next week.
“We thank the community for their patience and understanding as we work through this.”