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ActewAGL plans power outage for Hawker and Hughes during Canberra heatwave

Emily Baker

Published: January 11 2017 - 8:35AM

Spare a thought for the 115 Canberrans expected to sweat through the 38 degree heat on Friday as ActewAGL pushes ahead with a planned power outage.

Parts of Hawker and Hughes will lose electricity to allow for scheduled maintenance by the energy company.

Friday's scorching heat will top off a string of days hotter than 30 degrees and mark the second last day of a declared low-intensity heatwave.

ActewAGL Branch Manager Works Delivery Clinton McAlister said affected residents were given four days' notice to allow for alternative arrangements.

He appealed for an understanding from customers that changing the maintenance schedule for one customer "would only impact on another".

"As with all outages, our field crews work hard to complete the work as quickly and safely as possible and to have the power back on before the hottest part of the day, which is mid-afternoon," he said.

"We understand that being without power is inconvenient, especially on hot days.

"We must balance the health and wellbeing of staff and the community with the need to conduct essential maintenance to ensure the electricity network remains safe and reliable."

Temperatures are forecast to range from 31 to 38 degrees between Wednesday and Saturday.

To the people in Bourke sniffing at Canberra's attempt at a heatwave - residents of the New South Wales town are expected to suffer through 47 degrees on Friday - a reminder that it's all relative.

The hot air mass moves over eastern Australia from Wednesday to Friday.

´╗┐´╗┐Weatherzone meteorologist Graeme Brittain explained the definition of a heatwave varied from place to place.

"It's three days or more of unusually hot temperatures for a location, which is different for each place," he said.

"They base that on what the previous 30 days have been like."

Friday's whopping 38 degrees is about 10 degrees above the seasonal average. The mercury will hit 35 degrees on Wednesday with Thursday to bring cool relief with a forecast 31.

The heatwave conditions will end on Saturday with 32 degrees and an expected morning shower or two.

Rain will also hit earlier in the week.

"It'll be mostly sunny conditions but a chance of some showers developing this evening [Tuesday] and passing through Wednesday as well, but not that much in terms of rainfall," Mr Brittain said.

"The humidity's not particularly high. [The dry] makes it feel slightly more comfortable.

"Any breeze that develops, that creates kind of a wind chill factor so that takes the edge off - it makes the temperature feel a bit cooler."

Friday's heat can be blamed on a cold front moving from the Bight through the south-east.

The heatwave follows the territory's third hottest year and the hottest June to September period on record.

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