Lightning causes blackouts

ERGON Energy crews are continuing to repair the damage caused by last night’s severe electrical storm in the Warwick region that initially interrupted the power supply to about 3300 customers.

Lightning strikes from the storm resulted in the 1800 customers supplied from the Allora substation having their power interrupted shortly before 6pm.

And then just after 6pm about 1500 customers supplied from the Swan Creek feeder had their power supply interrupted.

The two outages affected customers in parts of east Warwick, plus those to the east beyond Yangan and in the northern areas in and around Allora and Goomburra.

The high-voltage feeder lines out of Allora substation were progressively restored, as were sections of the Swan Creek feeder, so power was restored to most customers by 12.20am.

This morning, crews have restored power to just over 100 customers each in the Willowvale and Goomburra areas and about 30 in Yangan.

They are continuing to work throughout the region, mainly relacing blown fuses on transformers supplying up to a dozen customers each, as well as attending to individual customers without power, especially in the Glengallan, Yangan and Swan Creek areas.

Stanthorpe crews are supporting their Warwick colleagues and they expect to have restored power to all customers by this evening.

That will complete a busy 48 hours for the Warwick crews, who restored supply to all customers affected by storms on Tuesday night only about an hour before the even more damaging storms struck last evening.

Today’s weather outlook for the Southern Downs and Granite Belt continues to be for showers and thunderstorms increasing into the afternoon and evening.

Warwick’s maximum today is forecast at 29.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s automated weather station for Warwick, located at the Hermitage research farm near town, remains non-operational due to electrical failures related to the storms.

A BoM spokesman said technicians in Brisbane were trying to fix it remotely but may have to travel to Warwick if these attempts are unsuccessful.

The station stopped transmitting weather data shortly before midnight on Tuesday after that evening’s thunderstorms.

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