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Power returns to storm-hit Gold Coast

Friday February 1, 2013 - 10:07 EDT

Energex says there are now fewer than 60 homes and businesses without power on the Gold Coast.

Crews have been working continually to restore electricity to customers affected by the recent wild weather.

Spokeswoman Kath Ryan says there are still about 300 customers in the Scenic Rim area without power but that should be fixed today.

"Our message this morning is that if people are without power still but their neighbours and everyone around them seems to have power, we really need to hear from them," she said.

"So if they can call us on 13 62 62, we'll have a better understanding of where there are individual customers who still need us to come around and fix their power."

There were more than 10,000 homes and businesses without power in the Tweed region at the peak of the wild weather.

The CEO of Essential Energy, Gary Humphries, says electricity has since been restored to all but 50 or so customers.

"A lot of them are quite difficult jobs to get to in some of the terrain, mainly around the Murwillumbah area," he said.

"We have deployed helicopters today again to make sure that we patrol the network and understand exactly where they are."

Recovery centre

A new recovery centre on the Gold Coast is likely to remain open for many weeks to come.

The Department of Communities, the Red Cross and Lifeline are providing a one-stop shop for people affected by flooding and power outages.

Lifeline's Adrienne Ralph says financial help and psychological support is being offered.

"They won't close the centre until the appropriate time ... it might be a week, two weeks, three weeks - it will be gauged as we go along," she said.

"Word of mouth will spread and straight away we will get more and more people coming through needing not just financial assistance but emotional assistance, which is what we are here for."

The centre, which opened yesterday, operates from 10:00am (AEST) until 5:30pm each day.

Schools await students

Meanwhile, girls from some of the most devastated parts of Queensland are yet to return to school on the Gold Coast.

Saint Hilda's at Southport says it is waiting for five boarders to arrive, including a couple from Asia whose connecting flights to Coolangatta have been delayed.

The director of boarding, Gail Churchill, says other students are dealing with road closures.

"We are also still waiting for some of our boarders to arrive from the Northern Rivers, Maryborough and Bundaberg area - as some of the roads are still impassable they are just playing it very sensible and not trying to pass roads that aren't safe," she said.

"A lot of them have been able to make it here on time, some of them took long detours which added several hours to their journey

"One of our families just crossed the bridge as waters were lapping at the side of the bridge.

"Our international girls were affected in that some of their connecting flights were cancelled, so they spent a little bit of extra time at the airport."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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