Power knocked out to 25,000 in ferocious stormsBy Catherine Clifford, Thursday January 17, 2013 - 09:43 EDT
Essential Energy says tens of thousands of customers lost power in the weekend storms.
Regional General Manager, Matt Patterson, says the weather event is one of the worst he's ever seen while working with the energy provider.
"At the height of the storms 25,000 customers were out from Walgett to Tamworth and everywhere in between," he said.
"About 40 to 60 poles were brought down during the storms and we now have to make aerial assessments of the damage."
Essential Energy says major progress was made to restore power to households and businesses in the 24 hours after the weather event.
Just over 5,000 customers were without power a day later, mainly in Narrabri, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah and Moree.
That number was reduced to 1,700 within two days.
Essential Energy says fires have also caused considerable damage to the network, especially around Barradine.
It says up to 200 poles may have to be replaced across the New England North West and into the Central West as a result of the storm and fire damage.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
A hundred homes have been inundated with water and people have been evacuated from Forbes in central-western NSW, as floodwaters cut off roads and cause widespread damage to crops.
An evacuation order has been issued for residents of Forbes in central-western New South Wales, but the State Emergency Service (SES) is concerned some people are choosing to leave their homes late.
Residents of Forbes have been packing up and leaving their homes, in what for some is an eerily familiar situation.