Repeated 'nightmare' power cuts leave villagers in the dark
PUBLISHED: 16:59 10 December 2019
Residents of a small Suffolk village say they have been left in the dark over when repeated power cuts will come to an end.
More than 600 properties in Stoke by Clare, near Clare, have lost electricity for hours at a time since last Saturday.
The village is reliant on electricity as it is not on gas mains supply.
UK Power Networks said it had deployed 11 generators around the village to temporarily restore supplies to 601 affected properties.
But some properties suffered further disruption after problems hit some of the generators.
Chris Pollitt, a supermarket worker of Church Walk, said his bed-ridden mother Shirley, aged 82, was left stuck in her electric orthopaedic bed on Saturday when the power died as she was being tended to be health visitors.
"She was trapped in a raised position for more than two hours, which was very unsettling for her," he said.
"The power company have sent up generators and a support vehicle to let us heat water and charge phones, but there are elderly people here who can't get out so easily.
"It's a close community round here and people muck in to help each other out.
"But the lack of information is very frustrating, you ring up the power company and they try and help, but they can't tell you how long it's going to go on for."
Mr Pollitt said the power to his home was off for 10 hours on Saturday. It was restored before going off on Sunday afternoon, came back at midnight only to go off again at 5am today.
Paul Last, landlord of The Lion pub in The Street in Stoke by Clare, said on Monday: "It's been a nightmare.
"On Sunday we had people in when the power went off at 5.50pm and we had to clear them out because we can't cook anything, and I've had to do the same again with another party booked in for tonight."
A spokesman for UK Power Networks apologised for the disruption, which it blamed on "a complex fault on the underground network".
"Following the fault on Saturday, which initially affected 601 customers, around half were restored within an hour and temporary generators were used to reconnect remaining supplies in the quickest way possible.
"A customer support vehicle was sent to the village to keep residents updated, supply temporary wifi and hot food and drink.
"Our engineers are working hard to locate and repair the damaged cable so the generators can be removed as soon as possible.
"We apologise that some of our customers experienced a further interruption after a problem with the temporary supply arrangements. We do not believe this was caused by tampering with the equipment."