During TC Larry 130,000 customers lost power. As #TCYasi is larger and more intense there could be more than 200,000 customers initially without power. The length of time it takes to restore supply will depend on the severity of the cyclone, the extent and type of damage, and the location of the impacted assets (power poles, lines, substations etc). Many of the assets in affected areas will not be easily accessible. Poor weather, flooding, road closures, boggy ground and general debris can make access very difficult. It's important to remember that full restoration of supply during TC Larry took four weeks. Until the extent of damage from TC Yasi is known it is impossible to estimate how long the restoration will take. As TC Yasi is now a category 5, and larger and more intense than TC Larry, it is possible that full restoration will take longer than four weeks.
The first two days:
Ergon Energy will be focused on:
- Checking on staff in the impact zone.
- Making the area safe by ensuring there are no live powerlines - safe for our employees, all emergency service workers and the community.
- Assessing the extent of damage to assets (power poles, lines, substations etc) - this will be affected by poor weather preventing helicopter use, road access issues due to flooding and debris blocking roads.
- Prioritising resources into response areas and deploying where possible to do so.
- Prioritising the deployment of generation equipment - critical infrastructure is the key priority including evacuation centres, hospitals, water and sewage treatment plants. This will be done in consultation with relevant local disaster management groups.
- When the damage assessment is completed, restoration of supply can be prioritised.