Almost 4000 residential and business customers in Sydney’s northern suburbs were still without electricity on Sunday morning, following the fallout from Tuesday’s severe storms.
Network operator Ausgrid said its crews “are continuing to work to help reconnect the vast majority of those still without power”.
Power has been restored to more than 48,000 customers since Tuesday.
Further complicating the issue, Ausgrid said it had come across many homes where individual customers’ connections to the network, such as private power poles, had been significantly damaged.
As at 10.45am today, power is out to 3,900 homes & businesses affected by cyclone like storms in Sydney.
We’ve safely restored power to over 48,000 critical services, businesses & residents & our crews are continuing to work to reconnect the vast majority of those remaining. pic.twitter.com/vTDjRTap1m
— Ausgrid (@Ausgrid) December 1, 2019
Ausgrid said regulations prevented its staff from repairing customer equipment past the connection point, and urged those affected to contact a qualified electrician to repair damage to their own equipment.
“Once repaired, Ausgrid can safety reconnect them to the shared network,” a statement said.
Ausgrid previously said the cyclone-like damage was some of the worst it has seen in a concentrated area.
But the Electrical Trades Union said the length of the large-scale blackout highlights the impact of job cuts, claiming the workforce at NSW’s three electricity distributors had been slashed by 40 per cent.
“Ausgrid alone has seen approximately 2000 jobs go with another 315 people made redundant earlier this year,” union secretary Justin Page said in a statement.
The number of crews available directly impacts the speed of repairs, he said.
Ausgrid has been contacted for comment on the union’s claim.
People relying on a continuous power supply for medical or life support equipment have been advised to relocate.