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Blackouts could last days: Energex

Monday January 28, 2013 - 17:06 EDT

Energex is warning that some homes in south-east Queensland could be without power until Wednesday.

More than 230,000 homes are in the dark today after 2,000 wires were blown down in high winds yesterday.

That includes 88,000 homes and businesses in Brisbane, 32,000 on the Sunshine Coast, 28,000 in the Moreton Bay area and 28,000 on the Gold Coast.

Mike Swanston from Energex say every effort is being made to restore power.

"It's frustrating there are so many people sitting in the dark this morning," Mr Swanston said.

"Toward Gympie and the Sunshine Coast hinterland have been off for the best part of 36 hours now.

"But really we've just got to chug away and check all of these wires."

Extra crews have started work this morning and their priority will be to make fallen powerlines safe.

"We'll start working in areas that we can get restoration done - more in the urban areas," Mr Swanston said.

Phones down

Meanwhile, telecommunications outages in central and north Queensland are expected to continue throughout the day.

Telstra says most landline and broadband services in Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville, Mount Isa and Gladstone are down.

Mobile services north of Kingaroy have also been effected.

Triple-zero coverage is also down and a single temporary number for emergency calls has been set up.

Spokesman Kris Carver says it is hoped services will start to come back online this afternoon.

"If everything goes well the vast majority of services will come back online," he said.

"We still will have localised areas where we may not have power or something like that but the vast majority of services will come back online once we're able to fix these major transmissions errors."

Telstra says customers impacted by service outages due to the wild weather can still use their mobile phones to call triple-zero.

The carrier's mobile, landline and broadband services in central and north Queensland have been effected by cable damage and blackouts.

Mr Carver says customers can use mobile coverage of an alternative carrier to make emergency calls.

"We do recommend especially in emergency situations that they use their mobiles to call triple-zero," he said.

"Mobile phones will pick any available network when they dial triple-zero."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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