5pm UPDATE: A faulty electrical cable, known as a ‘conductor’ that due to deterioration technicians have ruled can’t be repaired, but must be replaced. SP AusNet advises those in the area with power should prepare for a power outage around 7pm.
Many more homes will lose power as the technicians will have to shut off power distributors – known as transformers – which are the big boxes on power poles, to connect the new conductor.
“Tests will then need to carried out before power is restored,” SP AusNet spokeswoman Helena Lilly told Kinglake Ranges News.
It appears the lessons of Black Saturday – given SP AusNet just confirmed the outage is due to a deteriorated conductor – have not been learnt. As a Black Saturday survivor myself, the first question I would be asking SP AusNet is why the conductor was allowed to deteriorate to this point? What if it broke on a Total Fire Ban day?
4.34pm: Flowerdale, Hazeldene and Kinglake West have been affected by a power outage for over 22 hours as at 4pm. Power is not expected to be restored until 7pm tonight.
According to SP AusNet 10 properties in Flowerdale, 26 in Hazeldene and 17 at Kinglake West are affected. Properties in Strath Creek and surrounding areas are also affected.
Social media posts to the Flowerdale Events & News Facebook group suggest several unfilled restoration times, including 9pm yesterday, noon today, 3pm today and now 7pm today.
It is unclear what actually caused the outage with some claiming a power pole fire whilst others beleive it’s been caused by “lines catches [ing] on fire,” Sharon Collins stated on the Flowerdale Events & News Facebook group.