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Power company turns to chopper to fix Tweed lines

Essential Energy crews are working to restore power throughout Tweed.
Essential Energy crews are working to restore power throughout Tweed. John Gass

THE power company responsible for the Tweed is bringing in extra staff and a chopper to fix the shire's damaged lines.

An Essential Energy spokesperson said about 13,000 households were still without power on the far north coast.

"Essential Energy will bring additional personnel into the area today to assist local crews," the energy provider said in a statement.

"Additionally, a helicopter is on standby to patrol areas isolated by floodwaters in the Tweed hinterland, particularly around Tumbulgum, Uki and off the Tweed Valley Way."

Daniel Bylsma, Essential Energy acting regional general manager for the North Coast, said he was hopeful the helicopter would be in the air by this afternoon.

"We know we have at least five poles down along the Tweed Valley Way and there are possibly more in areas that aren't easily accessible due to the conditions," My Bylsma said.

"In many instances, strong winds have brought trees down across powerlines or flung vegetation and other debris into the lines, damaging them.

"At Terranora our vegetation crews are presently working to clear a large tree that has fallen across high voltage powerlines.

"Our main efforts are focussed on restoring power for as many customers as quickly and safely as we possibly can, but it may be several days before all supply is restored to outlying areas and individual residences."

Anyone who sees a fallen powerlines should call Essential Energy on 13 20 80.

Topics:  essential energy, power out, tweed flood 2013



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