BLACKED OUT: Businesses left in the dark

BUSINESSES are counting the cost of Sunday’s freak storm and the blackout that left large parts of Gloucester without power for up to 24 hours.

Monday was a complete write off for many businesses as the blackout turned Gloucester into a ghost town.

Most businesses chose to keep their doors closed for the whole day despite power coming back on around midday in some parts of the CBD.

Widespread damage occurred when a large storm front moved through the Mid North Coast and Upper Hunter on Sunday afternoon. 

The damage included trees across powerlines, broken poles and pole cross-arms and lightning strikes to equipment.

Essential Energy said the worst hit areas were Dungog, Stroud, Gloucester, Bulahdelah, Nabiac Taree, Wingham and the coastal strip.

Around 2500 customers remained without power on Monday night.

At the storm’s peak 36,000 customers were left without electricity.

Essential Energy was forced to call in additional crews from both inside and outside the region to assist local depots.

The Gloucester SES was called to a motor vehicle accident at Booral after a car was struck by a falling tree and powerlines.

No-one was injured in the accident but the Bucketts Way was closed for several hours while the tree and the downed lines were removed.

Gloucester SES controller Bruce Sun said crews had also responded to three call outs in the Wards River area to deal with damaged roofs, while council crews were kept busy removing fallen trees and branches from local roads.

MidCoast Water said the water supply continued as normal, however, as the Gloucester water supply uses a number of pumps to boost water pressure,  pressure would have been affected in some areas. 

Local dairy farmers reported they were unable to milk for up to 30 hours in some instances.

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