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Power restored in Orange after gum tree splits in half and takes down power lines

December 17, 2022

The split in the tree. Copyright: Orange News Examiner on-the-spot photo.

By Peter Holmes

Late on Saturday afternoon a large gum tree on Clergate Road split in half, with one half remaining upright and the other taking down power lines and causing a major blackout in the city.

Fire trucks on the scene. Copyright: Orange News Examiner on-the-spot photo.

According to Essential Energy more than 1,650 households were impacted. The outage covered an area north from the Showgrounds to the NDR, and west to near Burrendong Way.

Numerous fire crew were in attendance, with police, council and Essential Energy also on the scene.

Nearby residents, who gathered for a sticky beak on the pathway alongside Clergate Road, or watched the scene unfold from over their back fences, reported a loud thudding sound on Saturday afternoon.

Locals said that before the split the tree on the right looked similar to the tree on the left. Copyright: Orange News Examiner on-the-spot photo.

Now they were wondering what to do for dinner. Takeaway seemed to be the most reasonable option.

Nobody dared mention the Christmas ham.

One witness told The Orange News Examiner that a small bush fire ensued, likely caused by sparks generated when the power lines touched.

Crews on the scene, with fallen power lines to their left. Copyright: Orange News Examiner on-the-spot photo.

The split on the tree appeared as clean as if it had been sliced through with a chainsaw.

The half of the tree that came down is believed to have landed across fallen power lines.

The tree could not be removed until permission was sought and granted to isolate the power.

Fallen power lines. Copyright: Orange News Examiner on-the-spot photo.

From a distance this appeared to be achieved by a worker holding a long yellow pole up to the top of a telegraph pole.

Power was restored on the upswing of 9pm.

The Orange News Examiner, with a staff of one and a bit, has published over 500 stories in 2022 - its first year.

We have broken dozens of stories, published in-depth features, had a laugh, given a voice to those without one, and looked beyond the press release to find out what we're not being told. When other newsrooms have been closed, we've kept reporting - early morning, late at night, on weekends.

We were determined to keep the website free, so that everyone could stay informed, no matter their income.

The Orange News Examiner is your voice, and we need your support, but only if you are able financially.

We have a generous bunch of advertisers, and without them we simply could not publish at all. If you can support them, please do.

However we still have a huge mountain to climb if we are to make the publication sustainable, and maybe one day expand the newsroom so we can bring you more stories. Every week there are many important stories we simply cannot get to. Stories that go untold.

Unlike larger and more powerful media companies, which have been able to successfully lobby for tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer handouts, The Orange News Examiner receives no such support.

Can you spare a dollar or two a week?

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If just 5% of our 14,000 monthly readers pledged a dollar or two a week to support independent media with no agendas, we could do much more for our community. Will you be the 1 in 20?

Thanks in advance.

Peter Holmes



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