Storms bring down Coast powerlines

WILD storms that lashed parts of the Coffs Coast left more than 2000 property owners blacked out on Sunday.

Residents at Bowraville, Newee Creek, Macksville and surrounding areas were hardest hit by the storms when one kilometre of powerlines came down in Newee Creek.

Country Energy crews were immediately called in to patrol the lines and fix isolated faults as a result of the storm. Power was restored to most areas by 11pm.

Additional crews from Coffs Harbour were called in at first light yesterday to start repairs on the 1km of powerlines down in Newee Creek. Power was expected to be restored to the final 34 customers late yesterday.

Just after 5.30pm on Sunday about 50 households at Brierfield near Bellingen were without power when storms brought down wires.

Country Energy crews patrolled the powerlines and found the fallen conductors by 7pm and restored power to all customers by around 10.45pm.

Around 9.30pm, storms hit about 100 homes at Megan near Dorrigo when wires came down in Lower Bielsdown. Power was restored by 2.30am.

“Unfortunately we can not control the impact storms have on the electricity network but I would like to reassure customers that in the event of unplanned power interruptions, our crews will be out in force working to restore power supply as quickly and safely as possible,” said Country Energy’s regional general manager, Brian McLean.

“Remember, if a powerline is on the ground it must always be treated as live and no attempt should ever be made to approach or remove it.

“Stay at least eight metres away from the powerline and call Country Energy on 13 20 80 immediately.

“During storm season we also recommend customers keep a storm emergency kit handy – somewhere easily found in the dark if required.”

One of the storms dumped hail near Glenreagh, shattering windows on a house.

The Coffs Harbour City SES sent a five-strong crew to Grafton to help with as many as 60 callouts in the wake of a fierce storm which ripped through the Clarence Valley on Sunday. Most of the calls for help were to remove trees which had fallen on houses.

BIZARRELY, a cold snap brought a light dusting of snow to some parts of southern NSW overnight. Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia were also hit by an unseasonable cold front, with temperatures plummeting to near zero in the Snowy Mountains.

Thredbo and Cooma in the NSW Southern Tablelands, reported a brief snow flurry yesterday.

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