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Winds to blame for blackouts amid surges

Date

Lisa Cox

Strong winds over brought down tree branches near Lake Burkey-Griffin on Tuesday, when winds were blamed for the loss of power to 8500 homes and businesses in Canberra.

Strong winds over brought down tree branches near Lake Burkey-Griffin on Tuesday, when winds were blamed for the loss of power to 8500 homes and businesses in Canberra. Photo: Melissa Adams

More than 8500 homes and businesses were left without power on Tuesday and demand for electricity surged as the city sweltered in temperatures above 35 degrees.

More than a dozen suburbs were hit by blackouts as temperatures soared and wind gusts reached speeds of up to 80km/h.

ActewAGL said most of the power outages were caused by high winds across the territory.

Power was cut in suburbs including Hackett, Watson, Weston, Kingston, Causeway, Kambah, Flynn and Fraser.

ActewAGL service delivery manager Lyn Iacumin said crews had worked quickly to restore supply to affected homes and businesses.

''The strong winds and hot weather have led to multiple outages across Canberra, presenting our crews with challenging conditions,'' she said. ''We'd like to thank everybody for their patience and congratulate the efforts of emergency response teams today.''

Peak power usage across the territory was 625 megawatts at 2pm when the temperature was 36.4 degrees, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Before Tuesday, Canberra's greatest electricity usage so far this year peaked at 6pm on Monday at 605 megawatts with a maximum temperature of 34.9 degrees.

Ms Iacumin warned Canberrans to stay clear of fallen or low power lines and objects such as fences or trees that are in contact with them, as they could conduct electricity.

Damage to electrical and gas infrastructure can be reported to ActewAGL's emergencies and faults numbers, 13 10 93 for electricity and 13 19 09 for gas.

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