THOUSANDS of residents in Wick were left in darkness last night (Wednesday, February 6) as a wide-spread power outage hit the area.
Around 2,525 properties were affected by the power failure, with some homes being left without heating and lighting for more than eight hours.
The outage struck shortly after 6pm, with the final homes having power restored in the early hours of this morning, at around 2.30am.
A spokesman for the UK Power Networks, the company in charge of providing electricity to the area, said the blackout was due to a fault in the high-voltage distribution system.
He was also quick to rebuff rumours from some residents that the outage was caused by workers adding the final touches to the new Morrisons’ development, at the former Body Shop headquarters at the junction of the A259 and Lyminster Road – which is due to open on Monday, February 11.
The incident forced superstore, Tesco, in Broadpiece, Littlehampton, to close its doors to customers for around two hours as its electricity was knocked out within the shop.
Morrisons was also affected, with staff being forced to move frozen good out of the powerless freezers and into a cool room in an effort to preserve the stock.
However, it was families across the Wick area who were worst hit.
Many were forced to wrap up in blankets and huddle around flickering candles during the outage.
Commenting on the Gazette’s Facebook page, Emma-Jayne Woodhouse, of Kingfisher Drive, said she was one of those to lose power for the entire duration of the blackout.
She said: “I’m not happy lost all my food out of the fridge and freezer!”
However, Amanda Kinsella, of Goldcrest Avenue, felt that the some positive aspects came from the electrical fault.
She said that without all the electrical distractions in her home, such as the television, her son’s Xbox and husband’s computer, her and her family had the opportunity to spend some quality family time together.
“We had our dinner together as usual and then spent a good few hours chatting with each other and telling my son about the Winter of Discontent, three-day weeks and power outages we experienced in our childhood days,” she said.
“As annoying as it was (and I’m sure some people found it extremely inconvenient) we turned it around and spent some quality time together. Our computers, TV, Xbox and kitchen radio all kicked back to life at 3.45am this morning.”
A spokesman for UK Power Networks has apologised following the event.
“We appreciate how difficult it can be to lose power, especially as this time of year when it is cold, and would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by this incident,” he said.