Essential advises community to prepare for extended outages

Essential Energy is asking community members impacted by the current bushfires burning through the South East of NSW to be prepared for potentially extended power outages, as crews are currently unable to safely access the firegrounds.

With a number of fires still burning and extreme conditions forecast over coming days, Essential Energy has warned more customers could be affected in areas where blazes continue to threaten power supplies.

As of 3pm on New Year’s Eve, more than 31,280 customers are without power in the Batemans Bay area.

Those customers will unfortunately be without power until the area is deemed safe to access by our crews and we can carry out repairs.

In a separate fire-related outage, around 1,920 customers are without power in the across the wider Snowy Valleys area impacted by the Dunns Road Fire.

Essential Energy said it is working closely with the RFS to ascertain when it can safely gain access to review the situation and have senior personnel in the Emergency Operations Centres.

An Essential Energy spokesperson said the organisation acknowledged the support and patience of the community as it works with authorities to safely access fire affected areas and begin work to restore power. The public are urged to stay at least eight metres away from any fallen powerlines and report them on 13 20 80.

The Essential Energy website will have information about outages, however, due to the uncertainty as to when Essential Energy can safely  access the sites, in many cases estimated times to restore will not be available.