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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brighton power setback

Brighton power setback

Last updated 05:00 08/03/2011
Work to restore power in Christchurch had a setback yesterday when the Brighton substation failed again.

Orion chief executive Roger Sutton said there could be as many as 600 faults in the area  more than 10 times the number of cable faults normally seen in a year.

"We've found that the underground cables that take electricity from that substation are more badly damaged than we first feared," he said.

About 95 per cent of the city's power network, excluding the CBD, had been restored yesterday, leaving about 13,300 homes still switched off. That included 7600 in the Brighton and Dallington areas, 600 from Mt Pleasant to Sumner and 400 in other areas. About half the CBD, or 4700 homes, were still without power.

Sutton said restoring power to those areas would be slow and difficult, with many of the cables and substations in the damaged red zone.

People with power in the eastern suburbs were urged to conserve electricity use.

"If electricity use goes up in the eastern suburbs, it will put more stress on an already fragile network and we will be at risk of the power going back off again for some people."

Those without power were asked to turn power off at the main switch, unplug appliances and turn stoves off.

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