Residents in blackout for 13 icy hours
ISLE towns and villages were left icily cold and dark for over 13 hours, due to a sudden electricity power cut.
The wipe-out that affected 2,444 properties within the DN9 postal address, caused a school and businesses to close, and a well-attended funeral for a former community stalwart in Haxey was conducted in a freezing cold church with candles and no music.
Residents pooled resources and checked on their elderly as no clear information on when their power might be restored filtered through.
Power was lost without warning at 9.45am, and those who did manage to contact Northern Power Grid were told it was hoped a full service would be resumed by lunchtime.
Haxey, Graizelound, Westwoodside, Owston Ferry and Wroot were among the areas worst affected.
Part of Haxey did return to power by 1pm, but in Wroot, when it became clear that nothing was happening and children and staff were struggling to keep warm, the decision was taken to close the village primary school.
Headteacher Christine Cook said: “It just got so cold we had to make a decision. We were told initially that electricity would be back on within two to three hours. When it became apparent that that wasn’t happening we made a decision, that turned out to be the right one.
“Our school telephones were off but we were able to contact all parents by mobile without any issues. We were able to return to school on Friday morning, and it seemed from talking to parents that everyone had been re-connected at different times.”
Rumours that the power cut was triggered by building work on a new foodstore in Haxey were quashed by a spokesman for Northern Power Grid, who said: “The cause was a fault on a high voltage overhead power cable that is still being investigated.”
Northern Power Grid received 260 calls during the day, he added, and all properties had power restored by 11.37pm on Thursday evening.
Sarah Plows of Westwoodside Post Office said the day had been “a nightmare” for the majority of people.
“It was such a bitter day and we had no idea what was happening or when we would be back to normal,” she said. “We closed early as it was impossible to work without lights, heat and computers.”
At Jones’ Engineering company, a firm employing 22 people in Akeferry Road, Westwoodside, a spokeswoman said power was off from 9.45am to 5.15pm, and virtually “wiped out a day.” No-one went home, she said, but the vast majority of work could not be carried out and schedules had to be changed.
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Weather for South Yorkshire
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North