Be aware of electrical danger in floods

28 February 2022

With the devastating floods inundating Lismore and threatening other areas in the North Coast NSW, and further heavy rain predicted for the day, Essential Energy is reminding residents, volunteers and emergency workers of the importance of being vigilant when it comes to electrical safety in floodwaters.

Essential Energy’s Operations Manager Ranges, Paul McWilliam said people should follow basic electrical safety tips – whether preparing for flood waters, when a property is in flood or after the water has receded.

“With this unprecedented flooding and heavy rain across the entire North Coast, we want to remind people to be aware of possible electrical dangers during flooding situations. We need people to be aware that as the rivers are so much higher, anyone on a boat or SUP or in a kayak is a lot closer to powerlines, so please stay out of floodwaters unless there’s a critical need.

“We also want to remind people as the flood water starts to recede that no one should enter a property that has been affected by flood waters without first ensuring the energised electrical wiring has been shut off or disconnected,” Paul said.

To help ensure public safety and due to the extent of flooding, Essential Energy has de-energised more than 12,000 customers in Lismore local government area. This power outage may affect homes and businesses who have not been inundated with water but is an essential safety action during flooding. Over the region, more than 8,000 additional customers are without power. Essential Energy will update as more information comes to hand.

Customers with solar panel installations should also take care to stay well clear when returning to homes or businesses.

“Solar panels or Photovoltaic Arrays (PV Arrays) can generate an electrical current regardless of whether or not the electricity has been turned off,” Paul said.

“If you’re unsure about the state of your solar panel installation, contact your installer or a licensed electrician before turning the equipment on.”

For more information has helpful tips about preparing for floods and storm.

Media contact: Raelene Myers, Community Relations Manager
M: 0407 518 170