A Western Power employee has described the pressure he felt combating the extensive network outages that dogged the energy supplier last week as being worse than that felt during the Toodyay bushfires.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, worked with his team between Kwinana, through Rockingham and down to Mandurah last week on more than 900 faults in their attempts to bring affected customers back online.
He told the Sound Telegraph that although the Toodyay bushfires were more devastating, the sheer amount of pressure put on Western Power to bring customers back online was the worst pressure he had ever felt.
‘‘It was one of the worst emergency situations in the sense that people expected their power on a lot sooner,’’ he said.
‘‘I worked the Toodyay fires and that was extreme, but everybody was out of their homes.
‘‘We worked long hours and we worked very hard, but down here, people are in their homes and when they’ve been without power for 24 or 36 hours it put a lot more pressure on you to try and get more restored in a day.’’
The worker said although conditions were tough, welcome responses from relieved customers made their efforts worthwhile.
‘‘We had a nice story where we worked outside a special needs home that was without power,’’ he said.
‘‘A pole had just about fallen over onto their home and we restored their power so they were all clapping when we did it.
‘‘I think they pretty much made the whole week worth it.
‘‘ I was working down in Dawesville on Wednesday and people driving past were blowing their horns, giving us the thumbs up, so there certainty are people that are appreciative.’’