Fire ban delays repairs to Northampton line fault as Mid West residents go without power on 38 degree day

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
Western Power said it would have to wait until a total fire ban finished to start repair work, meaning the Northampton outage is expected to drag into Sunday.
Camera IconWestern Power said it would have to wait until a total fire ban finished to start repair work, meaning the Northampton outage is expected to drag into Sunday. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

More than 1400 homes and businesses across the Mid West are without power on a scorching summer’s day after a fault on the Northampton line interrupted supply from 5.45am on Saturday.

Western Power said a helicopter was patrolling lines to identify the fault which is affecting residents in Northampton, Ajana, Horrocks, Port Gregory and surrounds.

Crews are also working to locate a fault on the Kalbarri line, which dropped out at about 8.40am.

However the coastal town still has power thanks to a high voltage generator that was installed post cyclone Seroja.

Western Power said Kalbarri homes and businesses might experience some short power outages as searing temperatures put added pressure on the generator system.

“Yallabatharra is currently being fed power by the microgrid,” it said.

“We’ve reduced the load off the microgrid so that the battery will last longer.”

A total fire ban is in place for the City of Greater Geraldton and the Shires of Northampton and Chapman Valley.

Geraldton reached a maximum of 38.1 degrees on Saturday, while the gage at Morawa peaked at 36.5 degrees.

Western Power said it would have to wait until the fire ban finished to start repair work, meaning the Northampton outage is expected to drag into Sunday.

“We’re working as quickly and safely as possible, but due to current weather and high fire danger ratings we’re unable to restore power until bushfire risk eases, which is expected later tonight,” it said.

“If the fault has been located, Western Power can commence switching from 7pm (coastal) or 10pm (inland areas) tonight.

“This will help reduce the number of customers impacted by the fault. It is likely fault repair will commence tomorrow.”

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