Homes without power for second day following power surge

MORE than 50 homes are without electricity and gas for a second day. Trouble started on Sunday evening when a cable fault saw the electricity supply cut off to homes in Gaunts Way, Letchworth GC. But when EDF Energy engineers attempted to restore power, a

MORE than 50 homes are without electricity and gas for a second day.

Trouble started on Sunday evening when a cable fault saw the electricity supply cut off to homes in Gaunts Way, Letchworth GC. But when EDF Energy engineers attempted to restore power, a number of homes were filled with smoke when cables melted due to a power surge, and the gas main was also affected, stopping the gas supply to homes.

There was one minor explosion in a gas meter on the outside of one house and all homes will have to be checked for faults in wiring and gas boilers.

The British Red Cross also sent in a volunteer team to help provide hot drinks and help to the elderly, and a church was opened as a reception centre during the emergency.


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Simon Bloxham, a member of North Herts District Council, lives in Gaunts Way and is also a watch commander at Baldock and Letchworth GC fire station. He said: "There is a wartime spirit in the street. The weather is freezing and nobody has any heating or lighting and cannot cook.

"A lot of old people live in the street and everyone is rallying round, but people can't stay in their homes because it is too cold.

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"I have toured the area and we have been very lucky not to have had a major gas explosion. Engineers seem to have tried to send a power surge through the electricity system that was too great and welded the mains together, causing the surge to go through the gas supply and into homes.

"All homes will have to be checked for damage to wiring and gas boilers. In the meantime many people have gone to stay with relatives. My wife, children and I have gone to stay with her family because it is freezing at home."

An EDF Energy spokesman said: "At 6.53pm on Sunday customers in the Gaunts Way area of Letchworth GC experienced an interruption to their electricity supplies because of a fault on an underground cable.

"Engineers have been investigating the fault, and gas supplies to customers were isolated after the involvement of the fire service and National Grid.

"Our engineers managed to restore electricity supplies to about a dozen customers and are currently working to ensure all supplies are restored as quickly and safely as possible.

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