Digger's cable accident likely cause of CBD power outage

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014
vicky millar, kerri shaw
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
IN THE DARK: Vicky Millar, left, pays in cash to Groundfloor shopkeeper Kerri Shaw during a power outage in Timaru.

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A digger hitting cabling is believed to be the cause of power being knocked out to parts of Timaru for more than two hours yesterday.

The outage occurred about midday, and affected much of Timaru's CBD. Some cafes were unable to serve coffee, and eftpos machines were down at other businesses during the outage.

Timaru Girls' High School was also affected by the cut, while Hoyts Movie Max had to stop its screenings for part of the afternoon.

Alpine Energy chief executive Andrew Tombs said the cut was caused by tripped lines at its Hunt St substation.

"We think a digger might have hit some cabling. It wasn't one of our diggers," he said.

The incident effectively caused two simultaneous outages, which affected about 750 customers.

Alpine contractors restored power to about 170 customers, mostly in the Parkside and Seaview area, within an hour, but Mr Tombs said it took nearly three hours to restore power to the other customers.

"It did not take us long to isolate the fault, but it took a bit longer to address it. We thank people for their patience."

It took until 6.30pm to return power to TGHS.

"We kept TGHS off until we could reinstate their cable, as it was close to the proximity of the fault," Mr Tombs said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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