City hit by massive blackout

2011-04-29 00:00

THE Witness was inundated with calls from residents complaining about widespread power failures in Pietermaritzburg and Hilton. Many of them were worried they won’t have power back in time to watch the royal wedding today.

Technicians were hard at work yesterday as it seemed a problem at the Retief Street sub-station had affected both the Pine Street and Archbell Street substations, leading to the widespread blackout.

They were hoping to restore power at the two substations last night. The problem at the Retief Street substation is expected to take longer to fix, so Hilton residents may have a longer wait.

Mayor Mike Tarr is to call an emergency meeting with his staff today to find a solution to the ­ongoing problem.

Yesterday’s outage, which started at about 5 pm, affected Chase Valley, Montrose, Hilton, Prestbury, Sweetwaters, Clarendon and parts of the CBD.

A teacher living in Chase Valley was particularly concerned that the power failure would rob her of the pleasure of watching the royal wedding this morning.

“If I miss watching the wedding I’m not going to see it ever again. I just want to get an assurance that there will be electricity tomorrow morning,” she said.

Clarendon resident Eve Mann said she is not worried about watching the wedding, but is more concerned about going to bed on an empty stomach.

Alexis Walter of Hilton said her dinner was in the oven when the power went off.

 

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