Topics:  blackouts, electricity, grafton, pat chorely

Off-on power worries

Wooli residents (from left) Bonnie Leyshorn, Dot Chorley, Bruce Leyshon, Pay Chorley and Robert Carrigan have battled persistent blackouts in the area during the past week.
Wooli residents (from left) Bonnie Leyshorn, Dot Chorley, Bruce Leyshon, Pay Chorley and Robert Carrigan have battled persistent blackouts in the area during the past week.

THE notorious blackouts afflicting Wooli and Minnie Water residents have been annoying, but the latest spate has residents worried for their property.

Since April 23 Wooli residents Dot and Pat Chorley have logged countless power interruptions of around 15 seconds, sometimes two or three times in a minute.

"The power goes off just long enough for the fridge motor to turn off, then it comes back on," she said.

"I haven't even been game to turn my computer on for the past week."

Mrs Chorley said the first blackouts occurred after 5pm and persisted for several hours. But over time the problem has become worse and on Monday night they continued through the night into yesterday morning.

"Every time the power went off, the phone beeped and it did it again when it came back on again," she said.

"It kept Pat and I up all night, that's how we knew it was going off and on."

The Chorleys have battled the bad power supply in the region since moving there in 2000.

About seven years ago they spent $2000 on a generator, the blackouts were so frequent.

"The power might go out for four or five hours one day, then an hour or two the next, then there might be a few months without any interruption," Mrs Chorley said.

"We have two big fridges and a freezer full of bait because we live out here and we're worried they will break down because of the constant blackouts."

The Chorleys have contacted their energy supplier, Origin Energy, but have not received an explanation for the blackouts.

The Chorleys have researched the problem in their area and found residents in Wooli and Minnie Water complaining of similar blackouts in the same period.

An Origin Energy representative deflected responsibility onto "poles and wire" which was in the hands of Essential Energy.

An Essential Energy spokeswoman said work done over the past few days should improve service to the area.

She said a cracked insulator on an air-break switch, next to the Wooli River, caused the powerline fault.

Essential Energy apologised for the inconvenience caused. If customers have any concerns they can contact Essential Energy on 13 20 80.



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