Flood safety

Electrical safety during a flood

 

Storms and floods can damage the electricity network and interrupt your power supply. They can also create electrical hazards. If you see fallen powerlines always assume they are live and never approach them - stay at least 8 metres or 2 car lengths away - and call us on 13 13 88 and report life threatening situations by calling 000. 

Before a flood

Should you switch off electricity if you receive an evacuation order?

  • If your property is NOT flooded and it is safe to do so, switch off the power points and unplug devices and appliances from the wall. 
  • In wet weather or if your property is already flooded, we do NOT recommend approaching your main switch board, as in many cases this switch is located inside a metal enclosure which can cause a shock under fault conditions if touched. In these cases, we recommend you call in an electrician if you are concerned.
  • Remove or relocate all portable electrical appliances away from areas that may be impacted by water, particularly those on the ground.

Check the power outage map and social media for updates

Ausgrid will post power outage updates on Facebook, Twitter and our website. You can also check the power outage map for updates and report and electrical hazards online and on 13 13 88.

Staying safe during the flood

  • Be aware of damage to the electricity network both above and below ground. STOP and STAND BACK. It's tempting to jump in to clean up but tackling trees and storm debris on and around powerlines MUST be left to the professionals. A reminder to always assume fallen powerlines are live and stay at least 8 metres away.
  • Physical contact with, or even close proximity to, live equipment has the potential to cause an electric shock which may result in serious injury or death.

Report fallen and damaged poles and wires

To report hazards call us on 13 13 88 or report online at ausgrid.com.au/hazards

  • If powerlines have been damaged by flood water they can be dangerous. If powerlines are touching the ground or closer to the ground due to damage or flood heights, it is important to keep well away. Always assume fallen powerlines are live after a flood or storm. Do not approach them or walk under them.
  • Watch out for underground cables which may be damaged or have become exposed by erosion.
  • Trees that have fallen across powerlines could also be live. Do not try to pull trees or branches clear. It is not safe to lift or move branches entangled in powerlines or to move powerlines themselves.

If you are using boats for access

Boats used in flood conditions may unintentionally come closer to overhead powerlines than in normal conditions. Be aware of low hanging powerlines, or submerged poles streetlights and wires that could be live.

Returning home after the flood

Once you have access to your property, we understand you need to get the electricity reconnected as soon as possible to start clean up activities. In some cases, there are multiple steps we need to take before power can be restored:

  1. Ausgrid will work with other emergency services to clear debris around the network in order to make repairs.
  2. Our Emergency Service Officers will make the area safe and advise crews on the repairs that are needed.
  3. After a flood, it is likely that we will need to repair and replace overhead lines in multiple locations across our network. We can only do this when the floods recede and we have access for specialised equipment and crews to work safely.
  4. Flood damaged properties will need to be checked by a qualified electrical professional before you switch back on. Large electrical equipment located close to the ground, such as air conditioning units and pool pumps, may be damaged by flood waters. Do not switch back on until a professional inspection has taken place. Find out more about reconnecting your property here.

Customer Assistance Package

If your premises have been affected by flooding, you may be eligible for a waiver of your electrical connection fees and associated charges. Find out more about our the Ausgrid Flood Assistance Package.

Power still out?

Do we know your power is off? Check the power outage map for known outages in your area. For security reasons we don’t display single property outages on the map so if you have no power please call us on 13 13 88 or report your power outage online.  For advice about the reconnection process read Reconnecting after the Floods