More than 300 Essential Energy personnel have worked across the weekend to replace power poles destroyed by the fires still burning along the Mid North Coast.
Since the work began 415 power poles have been replaced, or 75 per cent of the 565 destroyed during last week's bushfires.
Facing often hazardous and challenging conditions, Essential Energy crews began working to replace the power poles after being given the all-clear by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).
"These challenges are slowing restoration to many areas of our network, as access is still too unsafe for our teams with many areas still off limits due to active fires," Essential Energy network and customer services acting general manager, Brendon Neyland said.
He said early last night, Sunday, November 17 around 1133 customers in fire affect areas were still without power.
However, teams have completed repairs to a significant part of the network, Mr Neyland said.
"Our focus is on steady, safe work and we've managed to get a lot of power restored this weekend, with our team remaining injury-free.
"The safety of our people on our worksites and the surrounding homes and businesses remains our main priority."
On-the-ground teams have been supported by Essential Energy in-house fleet management team.
A critical part of the response, this allows the crews to perform significant maintenance work on the ground resulting in a quicker response as 140 Essential Energy trucks and light vehicles are repaired and prepared overnight ready for the next day's operations.
Operations have also progressed with the conditions improving in some areas.
"With RFS clearance we've put our drones up in action to survey the work required, using helicopters to provide air assessment and we also have excavators in operation to assist teams to access challenging sites and replace poles safely.
"Our team is grateful for the community's support as we work through all the areas that need repairs."
Essential Energy's websitewill have outages and estimated time to restore, where crews have been able to access the network to provide an estimation,while its Facebook page also will provide further updates.
Essential Energy reminds people to stay more than eight metres away from fallen powerlines and report them on 13 20 80.
Did you know:
- Essential Energy builds, operates and maintains one of Australia's largest electricity distribution networks, servicing 855,000 customers across regional, rural and remote NSW.
- Our footprint covers 95 per cent of NSW, traversing 737,000 square kilometres of landmass with 183,612 km of powerline, 163,417 of those in designated bushfire zones.
- The network services more than 855,000 customers with approximately 4.6 customers to each kilometre of powerline, which is almost one-tenth the customer density compared with our counterparts in NSW.
- Essential Energy's footprint also includes 1.38 million power poles, equating to 1.6 power poles per customer.