Power poles cut down in attempt to steal copper wire
Vandals have cut down two live power poles in Sydney's north, causing power outages during the height of chaotic weather on Friday.
Ausgrid emergency crews discovered the damage at Fiddletown near Berowra while responding to calls of more than 700 fallen trees and powerlines.
Chainsaws had been used to saw through the wood near the base of the poles, leaving one on the ground and the other lodged in nearby trees.
It's understood the vandals had been attempting to steal copper wire from the poles.
Ausgrid Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong condemned the behaviour as the "height of stupidity".
"I can't state enough just how dangerous and irresponsible this behaviour is. It just defies common sense," Mr Armstrong said. "We are incredibly lucky nobody was killed or seriously injured."
Crews spent the weekend erecting two new poles and are in the process of restringing the high voltage powerlines. It comes after a weekend of severe winds that saw thousands of Sydney homes without power and bushfires sparked in the state's north.
Mr Armstrong said the dangerous act not only caused significant damage to the local network, but took resources away from other serious jobs.
"It is incredibly disappointing we need to spend resources on fixing unnecessary and criminal damage like this, especially on a weekend when our emergency crews were already busy responding to wind damage".