Ramornie shoulders up to a bleak weekend

DURING the widespread blackout in the Clarence Valley on Saturday, Norma Manhire felt sorry she had heeded the advice of former electricity supplier NorthPower to make her home fully electrical.

Mrs Manhire and her family live in one of 34 homes in the Ramornie area which was without power for close to 24 hours after the Saturday afternoon storm.

Mrs Manhire said her power went off about 5.40pm on Saturday and was not restored until 6pm Sunday.

She lost all her refrigerated perishables, as did the family of her daugh- ter who live in the same area.

"My husband said the wind would have been up to 140knots during the peak of the storm," she said.

"We had to cut trees away from the road so we could get out."

Mrs Manhire said Country Energy had told her on Saturday night that the power would be restored by 11pm, but when that did not happen, she was told crews had to be stood down for the night and the power would be restored on Sunday morning.

At 4pm she was told it would be restored by 7pm, so she was pleased when it came on at 6pm.

Country Energy acting regional manager Denis Lynch said the outage was caused by trees falling across the main line to the area.

"The delay in the restoration of power to Ramornie was also a result of the damage that the trees caused ? the tension in the lines is such that when a tree does fall on them, the damage can extend a fair way from the site of the impact," he said.

"Once we went to put the power back on we discovered that a piece of protective equipment, a recloser, had been damaged and it took a reason- able amount of time to replace."

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