Albany Extra - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Cuth­bert

25,000 prop­er­ties left in the dark Storm leaves dam­age across re­gion Mo­bile net­work dropouts

Thou­sands of prop­er­ties across Al­bany were left with­out power for more than 10 hours on Tues­day af­ter a storm left a trail of de­struc­tion.

At the peak of the out­age, more than 25,000 cus­tomers were af­fected, with the ma­jor­ity of prop­er­ties’ power re­stored by Tues­day evening.

On Wed­nes­day, about 2700 cus­tomers were with­out power across Den­mark, Walpole and Peace­ful Bay.

Ad­di­tional crews were redi­rected from Picton and Bus­sel­ton and a helicopter was de­ployed to speed up trans­mis­sion line in­spec­tions.

Western Power spokesman Stuart McLa­gan said the se­vere weather had left trees and branches on pow­er­lines across the re­gion.

“The big­gest in­ter­rup­tion was to the main power feed to Al­bany, which was dam­aged about 8am,” he said.

“This trans­mis­sion line was able to be re­paired and power re­stored to the Al­bany town cen­tre about 6.30pm, with crews work­ing into the night to in­spect and re­store power to the greater Al­bany area.

“Overnight power re­mained off in ar­eas west of Al­bany, in­clud­ing Walpole, parts of Den­mark and Peace­ful Bay.”

“To the east and north, cus­tomers to­wards Cheynes and Mt Barker were also af­fected, as well as a small pocket of cus­tomers in the Pin­grup area.”

Western Power said cus­tomers who had been with­out power for 12 con­tin­u­ous hours or more, could ap­ply for an ex­tended out­ages pay­ment through its web­site.

The pay­ment recog­nises cus­tomers’ in­con­ve­nience.

How­ever, any claims for food spoilage or other im­pacts should be made through cus­tomers’ in­sur­ance com­pany.

RAC is urg­ing peo­ple to be ex­tra vig­i­lant around their prop­er­ties af­ter re­cent storms in the State saw a surge of 1100 claims in less than a week. Tel­stra ser­vices were also down for some cus­tomers be­cause of the storm.

Tel­stra area gen­eral man­ager Boyd Brown said the se­vere weather and loss of AC mains power had af­fected ser­vices across the South West. Mr Brown said a to­tal of 125 net­work sites across the South West had been af­fected by loss of power, caus­ing wide­spread is­sues to ADSL and broad­band, land­line and mo­bile ser­vices.

“We have no reports of sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the net­work,” he said. “The out­ages are re­lated to loss of AC mains power.

“While our sites do have backup sys­tems, our tech­ni­cians have also dis­trib­uted more than 20 gen­er­a­tors to var­i­ous sites around Al­bany.”

RAC home claims man­ager Glen Walker said 2017 saw the high­est num­ber of storm-re­lated claims in the past five years — al­most dou­ble that of 2015.

“Be­tween 2015 and 2017 we saw an al­most 100 per cent in­crease in claims for storm dam­age across Western Aus­tralia,” he said.

“Storms of­ten come quickly and catch home­own­ers off guard, so our ad­vice is to take a look around your front and back­yards for any po­ten­tial risks and try to min­imise them as much as pos­si­ble.”

Busi­nesses around Al­bany were forced to close on Tues­day be­cause of power out­ages.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Storm dam­age caused by Tues­day morn­ing’s strong winds.

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