The Coffs Coast Advocate

Flyscreen blacks out city at lunch

COFFS Harbour City Centre was left in the dark for more than two hours yesterday after a flyscreen blew off a high-rise building into 11,000 volt powerlines.

From 11.15am until 1.45pm police were forced to stand in for traffic lights at the intersection of the Pacific Highway and Harbour Drive, while businesses on the north side of Harbour Drive were without power - right over the lunch period.

Essential Ingredients owner, John Green, said their busiest time of the day was dead because of the black out.

“It definitely affected us. The lunch break is usually our busiest time of day. We didn't close but we could only sell a very limited number of products. We couldn't weigh anything, and our computer system was down so people could only pay cash,” he said.

“I rang Country Energy, and all they had was an automated message saying the power was out in the Coffs CBD, and the Jetty, but as a shop owner, I need to know more than that.

“I have refrigerated products, I needed to know if I should start moving them and saving stock.

“An hour and a half later they were able to come back to me and tell me what happened. But I think they should provide a little more information on the recorded message.”

Country Energy regional general manager, Andrew Latta, said it was the high winds that caused the flyscreen to fly off the building.

“Country Energy crews responded immediately to isolate the area and identify any damage to the electricity network. Some customers would have experienced a couple of short power interruptions.

“Country Energy apologies for any inconvenience and want to reassure customers in the event of unplanned power interruptions we will restore power as quickly as safety will allow,” he said.

What happened?
  • High winds caused a flyscreen to blow off the upper levels of an apartment building on the Pacific Highway.
  • The flyscreen flew into the 11,000 volt power lines at the Pacific Highway near Coff Street.
  • Power was cut to the CBD, Jetty and some other surrounds at 11.15am
  • Coffs Harbour firefighters, police and Country Energy attended the scene, traffic was managed by police
  • 1.45pm: power was restored.

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