An Ergon Energy spokeswoman said at 5.10am damage to the network cut power to 28 suburbs and 3841 customers. Photo: Thinkstock
An Ergon Energy spokeswoman said at 5.10am damage to the network cut power to 28 suburbs and 3841 customers. Photo: Thinkstock

Cable damage wipes out power to 4000 homes

UPDATE 10.30AM: ERGON has revealed the unusual cause of a midnight power outage, which cut supply to more than 500 homes in the Sarina area.

An Ergon Energy spokeswoman said the two-hour blackout was the result of a bird building its nest on the network. 

"The crew that identified the fault during a line patrol in the very early hours of the morning had to remove the bird's nest before power could be safely restored to customers," she said. 

The Sarina, Freshwater Point, Armstrong Beach and Nindaroo customers were not the only ones to lose power this morning, she said.  Almost 4000 homes and businesses also were without electricity from 5am-6.30am.

The power outage, which affected 28 suburbs from  Mackay to Proserpine was caused by damage to an underground cable near Ergon's bulk supply substation at Pleystowe. 

While the outage included areas affected by last Thursday's Walkerston blackout, the Ergon spokeswoman said she did not believe the two incidents were connected. 

"The cable needs to be repaired and it won't be a quick fix, but we do not anticipate any further impact on residential customers while work is under way," she said.

INITIAL 9.30AM: NEARLY 4000 homes and businesses woke up without power this morning, as sweeping blackouts affected residents from Mackay to Proserpine, Ergon Energy reported.

An Ergon Energy spokeswoman said at 5.10am damage to the network cut power to 28 suburbs and 3841 customers.

"During a fault-finding patrol, an Ergon crew found damage to an underground cable, which required emergency repairs. Crews isolated the cable and re-energised the substation," she said.

Ergon Energy reported the outage lasted an hour and a half, and was restored by 6.30am.

The unplanned outage cut power to Ergon customers in Coningsby, Sandiford, Proserpine, Nindaroo, Marian, Greenmount, Farleigh, The Leap, Victoria Plains, Homebush, Palmyra, Erakala, Mt Vince, Foulden, Bakers Creek, Alexandra, North Mackay, Walkerston, Dumbleton, Richmond, South Bingera, Yakapari, Glenella, Mackay, Habana, Colston Park, Balnagowan and Pleystowe.

It is unknown if the network outage was connected to a crash that caused a power outage for 800 customers in the Walkerston area last Thursday.

This morning's power outage comes as more than 500 homes in the Sarina area also lost power last night.

Ergon said residents in Sarina, Freshwater Point, Armstrong Beach and Nindaroo lost power just after midnight.

Ergon said the loss of supply was due to damage, and emergency repairs restored power by 2.20am.