Now it’s a Severe Thunderstorm Warning

As if enough isn’t enough there’s a Severe Thunderstorm warning for the region now.

wed 29-whitso 1530The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Severe Thunderstorm warning this afternoon with severe storms likely to produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

Locations which may be affected include Bowen, Townsville, St Lawrence, Sarina, Ayr and Alva Beach.

The storms this afternoon are expected to interfere with emergency clean up and restoration efforts as teams of power workers are mobilizing and some crews are already on the road assessing the damage from Tropical Cyclone Debbie but flooding and closed roads is causing access issues for crews.

There are currently has 61,000 customers without supply (as at 2:00 pm), mostly in the Whitsunday and Mackay area in the communities of Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Proserpine, Bowen, Mackay, West Mackay, Sarina, Moranbah and Clermont and the Northern Beaches of Mackay.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey thanked the community for their resilience and patience in the aftermath of the cyclone while energy workers work as quickly as possible to restore power.

“The cyclone wreaked havoc on our road network with flooding, debris and fallen powerlines cutting access to communities.”

“This means crews can’t get into some areas as quick as they’d like to restore power.”

“Some areas south of Mackay and south of Bowen remain cut off due to flooding, however Powerlink and Energy Queensland have begun helicopter patrols of lines and major assets.”

Powerlink has commenced an aerial inspection of the 90km Proserpine – Collinsville transmission line while another crew is inspecting the substation and undertaking re-energisation checks.

Around 900 Queensland energy workers from Ergon, Energex and contractors are available and 150 crew from Essential Energy (NSW) are mobilising to assist the response effort.

Energy Queensland has 125 generators available, four high voltage units, and three mobile substations to assist with the restoration of power.

There have been some power restorations including the Home Hill township, parts of Moranbah including the airport and the Burdekin Water Treatment Plant.

Mr Bailey urged residents using generators during outages to follow all safety instructions.

“Using a generator to supplement domestic electricity during a power outage carries dangers of poisoning from carbon monoxide gases, fire and electrocution.”

Generators should never be used inside. This includes inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially enclosed area, even with ventilation, even if doors and windows are opened, this will not prevent carbon monoxide building up in the home.

Customers also need to make sure they place the generator well away from open windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to travel indoors.

Mr Bailey also reiterated the important message to never touch fallen powerlines.

“Everyone must please keep safety at the very front of their mind after any severe weather event because it’s likely there will be fallen powerlines,”