Essential Energy spent the day repairing power lines around the region after heavy winds brought down trees and power lines. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Essential Energy spent the day repairing power lines around the region after heavy winds brought down trees and power lines. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Light at last for 23,000 who lost power

FOR those in the valleys and ridges of the region who still had no power yesterday, the past five days have been an uncomfortable - but at times enlightening - experience.

While Essential Energy crews restored power to nearly 3000 households yesterday between Lismore and Tweed Heads, the lights will remain off for the sixth day in remote areas such as Upper Wilsons Creek.

Goonengerry Public School had all staff yesterday, but no students, no power, no water, and no phone.

Opposite the school lives the Balson family, that has renewed its love of painting and board games during the blackout to pass the time.

When power was restored to the home around midday yesterday, mother of five Amelia Balson could start thinking about refilling the usually well-stocked fridge.

"The first day without power was almost a novelty - you always think it's going to be back on in the morning… even the second day you think: 'it's going to come back on any minute'," Mrs Balson said yesterday.

"But after the fourth day it feels like it's never going to come back on - you feel like it could go for days.

"One thing I'm loving about it is there's no internet or television - my son was painting yesterday and my younger kids were playing cards."

"Essential Energy chief operating officer Gary Humphreys said since Sunday 23,000 customers had lost power across the region, which was unprecedented for the company.

He said this was the biggest single incident in Essential Energy's history with 4800 individual incidents at its peak.



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