Cable fault leaves town without power

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A POWER cut in Lurgan town centre on Friday afternoon left businesses and around 1,000 houses without electricity.

At first it was assumed excavation work relating to phase two of the public realm works was responsible for the loss of power, but it has emerged the cause of the blackout was a fault in an underground cable.

Some businesses made the decision to close early while those living in houses hit by the power cut had to seek alternatives to a home-cooked tea. Ironically several takeaways, who could have provided hot meals for those affected, were themselves without power.

Shirley Devlin, NIE customer relations manager for the area, said: “A fault in an underground electricity cable left around 1,000 homes and businesses in Lurgan town without power on Friday.

“The fault occurred at 3.50pm and NIE emergency repair teams responded immediately. The majority of customers had electricity supplies restored within two hours and everyone had power restored by 6.25pm.”

The Mayor of Craigavon was in the same boat as the rest of her constituents when it came to the power cut.

Councillor Carla Lockhart said: “I was also working in the DUP office in High Street when the electric went out at about 4.30pm. It caused early closure of businesses throughout the High Street and Union Street area and homes right across South Lurgan area were without power for a period of approximately one to three hours.

“Immediately I contacted NIE who informed me that it was a fault and that they were working to restore the service. They informed me that there was 1,100 domestic and non-domestic properties affected and that there aim was to have full service restored by 7pm.

“In most instances the electricity was restored within the timescale however, there was a loss in trading time by businesses and indeed council services were affected namely that of Waves Leisure Centre which had to be closed for Health and Safety purposes.”

The Mayor added: “I would commend NIE for working to address the issue in a quick and efficient manner. My understanding of the problem was that it was in no way related to the public realm works. It was a fault in the circuit.”