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Australia storm
Clean up in North Avoca to fix power lines continues on April 24, 2015 in Gosford, Australia. Gosford City and Wyong shire have official been declared disaster zones, due to the damage caused by the worst storms to hit the region in decades. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Australia's Energex Crews Head South to Assist in NSW Storm Clean-Up

Heavy rain and cyclonic wind gusts of up to 135 km/h cut power to more than 200,000 properties while flash flooding destroyed homes and caused traffic chaos across the region.

Dozens of Energex field staff and emergency equipment left Brisbane, Australia, and the Sunshine Coast at first light on April 22, destined for New South Wales to help restore power supplies after wild weather lashed Sydney and the Central Coast and Hunter districts.

Heavy rain and cyclonic wind gusts of up to 135 km/h cut power to more than 200,000 properties while flash flooding destroyed homes and caused traffic chaos across the region.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said Energex crews were primed and ready to head south to assist their New South Wales counterparts in restoring power supplies to households and businesses across the stricken region.

Energex crews will initially be based in the Hunter region to assist NSW electricity distributor Ausgrid rebuild the smashed power network and safely restore power supplies.

Bailey said replacement crews would be considered once a full assessment is made of the situation.

"Energex performed a similar role earlier this year in support of its country cousin, Ergon Energy, after Cyclone Marcia struck the Central Queensland region," he said.

"The crews are well-equipped to handle whatever nature throws at the electricity network. They are well-trained and experienced in safely and swiftly restoring power, particularly in emergencies," he said.

Energex has a long-standing agreement with Ergon and interstate electricity distributors where the companies support each other in emergencies.

While Ergon Energy and southern companies supported Energex after the Brisbane floods in 2011, Energex and their southern counterparts swung into action to assist Ergon after Cyclones Larry and Yasi caused significant damage to electricity infrastructure in regional Queensland.

"Their dedication is commendable. Their job is not nine to five. They often work in difficult conditions and for that we owe them a great debt of gratitude," he said.

Minister Bailey wished the Energex staff a safe journey south.

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