Powercor restored power to a further 1300 customers late yesterday evening and early this morning, reducing the number of customers still without electricity within the Mooroopna region to just under 500.
Those customers who remain without power are largely located in flood-affected areas, south south-west of Shepparton.
At this stage, we are unable to restore electricity supply to those areas due to significant safety risks associated with flooding and inundation of homes and businesses. We advise those customers they are likely to be without power for a prolonged period.
Over coming days and as flood levels recede, our crews will patrol electricity assets within these locations and identify any damaged items that may need to be repaired before we can safely turn power back on.
The outage is in response to significant flooding at the Mooroopna Zone Substation. To minimise the safety risk to the community and reduce the potential for long-term damage to infrastructure, Powercor de-energised the site at about 4am Sunday.
Since then, we have been able to restore power to approximately 5400 customers through generators, switching homes and businesses to other parts of the network, and building new sections infrastructure to bring supply across from other parts of the network.
To allow us to bring more customers back on, we have increased demand on other parts of our network and stretched its capacity. As a result, to support the reliability of the network, customers who have had power restored are being encouraged to keep their power consumption to essential use by turning off unnecessary appliances and setting their heating at 21 degrees.
Thank you to those communities who have been affected by these outages, during what is such a difficult time for them. Their patience and understanding as our crews have conducted our work has been extraordinary and we want to assure them our focus is on safely restoring power as soon as it’s possible to do so.
We continue to receive great support through incident control centres across the state, including Bendigo and Shepparton. The SES and the ADF have provided significant and important support to assist us to restore power to these impacted communities.
Preparation underway for other northern towns
As flood waters continue to move west, Powercor is taking steps to monitor and conduct work to protect other power assets in Cohuna, Red Cliffs and Wemen. Flood mitigation work includes sandbagging, having pumps installed and ready to use and lifting and protecting critical assets at some sites.
We are also strategically locating generators to allow us to mobilise them if they are required.
We have also been working closely with AusNet Services, which owns and operates the Kerang, Wemen and Red Cliffs Terminal Station where many of our assets are located.
We have also mobilised a faults crew to Kerang to support the community if the town is isolated due to flooding.
While there is no immediate threat to power supply in those areas, we do encourage all customers to remain prepared for potential outages should flood waters impact power assets.
For advice on preparing for outages, visit www.powercor.com.au/power-outages-and-faults/prepare-for-power-outages/
Other flood protection work
With further rain predicted over coming days, Powercor has been conducting further flood mitigation activities at zone substations located in Cobram East, Castlemaine, Eaglehawk, and Boundary Bend, and are continuing to assess and monitor low-lying electricity assets in Echuca. This work is designed to reduce the short-term risk of water encroaching and creating safety issues at critical sites if flood waters do rise again.
Work at sites vary and include sandbagging, lifting critical assets to high ground and installing pumps.
We will continue keeping customers updated on this work.
Mooroopna Zone Substation reinstatement
Flood levels are slowly receding at the Mooroopna zone substation. An extensive work program is being developed and will be activated as soon as it is safe to enter the site.
We will then be to begin pumping water from the site, before our specialist teams can begin cleaning and inspecting assets.
Based on the amount of damage and repair work that may be identified, as well as other impacts from future weather events, this restoration work may take a number of weeks.
In support of other flood affected areas, our Mobile Emergency Response Vehicle (MERV) will be based at the relief centre at the Bendigo Showgrounds today to provide local residents updates about electricity supplies and charging points for mobile devices. When access is available, we plan to bring MERV into Tatura to provide similar support to local customers.
Advice on returning to properties
For customers returning to their properties after flooding we advise:
For media inquiries, please contact (03) 9683 4342.
Advice on what to do if you are impacted by flooding is available here