Vance power destroys

CYCLONE Vance’s multi-million dollar rampage through the Gascoyne sparked a massive repair operation by Western Power.

Within hours of the cyclone devastating Exmouth, the utility’s Port Hedland crews swung into action and had a truck of poles and conductors in town.

“The devastation when we arrived on Wednesday morning was unbelievable,” Port Hedland worker Grant De vos said.

The cyclone’s hurricane force winds – the strongest winds recorded in Australia – had devastated the town’s power supply.

Steel poles were bent parallel to the ground, kilometres of conductor was on the deck – some of it simply disappeared – and the power station was flooded.

Some 150 power poles had to be replaced, although many of the steel poles survived the 290 kilometres per hour winds, according to a Western Power report.

The town’s distribution system was repaired and the power was back on 12 days later.

During a visit to Exmouth, Western Power managing director David Eiszele praised the efforts of the 50 Western Power people, contractors and their support crews from around the state.

“This has been a significant effort in very difficult and challenging circumstances,” he said.

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