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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Hundreds of homes in Carlisle hit by power cut

Hundreds of homes and businesses were hit by a power cut in Carlisle.

A spokesman for Electricity North West said 300 properties in the city centre were affected by the blackout yesterday afternoon. It was caused by an underground fault.

Around 200 had power restored within an hour but others were told it could take until later in the evening to be fixed.

The spokesman said those nearest the fault would face the longest wait. Streets affected included the top of Warwick Road, Devonshire Street. Lowther Arcade and Cecil Street.

A spokeswoman for the Circle Bar, in Lowther Arcade, said they were cancelling bookings and would have to close.

“We are closing the kitchens at the moment,” she said. “We are not going to be able to serve any food. We may be able to open for drinks later. It depends on when the power comes back.”

She said the electricity suppliers had told them their power would be back on by 7.30pm.

“Some people are saying they have been told 11.30pm,” she added. “We just don’t know. You never know, it might come back sooner.”

In Bar Solo, at the top of Botchergate, staff lit candles and “struggled on.”

“We haven’t been able to serve hot drinks but we’ve still had people coming in and we’ve done what we can,” a spokeswoman said.

“We’ve lit candles and kept going.” She said the power came back on at 5pm after being off for nearly two hours.

There were reports of traffic lights and street lamps also being affected, although they were believed to have been restored by 5pm.

At Mezzaluna on The Crescent, staff had been phoning customers to cancel evening bookings.

“We’re now calling them back to say it’s okay,” said a spokeswoman.

“The repair man who has been working at the top of Botchergate, next to Bar Solo, has restored power to all of The Crescent. It’s still off in Warwick Road though.”

Carlisle's Warwick Road GP Surgery said they were experiencing problems with telephone lines and advised people who wanted to contact out-of-hours services overnight to call Cumbria Health on Call directly on 03000 247 247. Two weeks ago a similar fault plunged hundreds of homes and businesses into darkness in Shaddongate.

An underground cable fault was blamed for knocking out supplies to 650 properties in Willowholme, Caldewgate and Shaddongate area, up to Dalston Road.

Among the places affected was the new Sainsbury’s supermarket in Caldewgate, where some of its lights went off. Back-up supplies, however, kicked in there.

Traffic lights on Caldewgate were also off for a time.

BBC Radio Cumbria was affected, with the outage taking the broadcaster off air for around 20 minutes.

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