Mount Isa and Cloncurry experience power outages

ESCAPING THE RAIN: Caffeine Nook employee Filma Caampued enters the store in Mount Isa during the downpour. Photo: Chris Burns.
ESCAPING THE RAIN: Caffeine Nook employee Filma Caampued enters the store in Mount Isa during the downpour. Photo: Chris Burns.

UNDERGROUND miners were either evacuated to the surface or moved to other areas of Mount Isa Mines which had back-up power during the power outage on Wednesday. 

A company spokeswoman said restoration of power to mining operations began at about 11.45am. Employees progressively returned to work, she said. 

The outage was caused the multiple lightning strikes at Diamantina Power Station (DPS), owned by APA Group.

An APA Group spokesman said the outage began at about 9.20am when the lightning prompted protection systems to shut down the generation. 

Even the traffic lights were down when power was cut across the city. Ergon Energy said between 8500 and 10,000 customers were affected from the outage. 

“We have liaised closely with Ergon Energy and directly affected industrial stakeholders through the course of the day to ensure they received clear and accurate information,” the spokesman said. 

“We thank them and their affected customers and employees for their patience and understanding while extensive recovery operations took place.”

The APA spokesman said there was no indication of damage to the power generation assets which could cause further disruptions to power supply. 

The power outage also affected Cloncurry and Dajarra, which happened in the aftermath of a storm. 

Within two hours Mount Isa received more than 25.6 millimetres of rain, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s measurements.

This was from about 7.30am to 9.30am on Wednesday. 

But Julia Creek and Richmond had higher recorded rainfalls. 

Julia Creek received 25.2 mm within half an hour on Wednesday morning. 

Within two and a half hours BOM’s Julia Creek rain gauge recorded 46.4 mm. 

Richmond received 31 mm within half an hour – from 4am to 4.30am.

In total that day Richmond received 44.4 mm.

Cloncurry received 30.2 mm of rain within 24 hours according to BOM’s measurements, starting on Tuesday, 9.30am.

However, 1.2 mm fell earlier that morning.