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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Power back after gales blackout
Suffolk coast
Strong winds caused electricity power cuts
Just 2,000 homes in the eastern region were still without power on Thursday afternoon after gale-force winds cut off tens of thousands.

Power company EDF said more than 75,000 lost power at one point, but most had service restored overnight.

In Essex, the worst-affected county, 1,600 homes were still waiting to be reconnected at lunchtime.

Thursday morning saw hundreds of homes in Norfolk and Suffolk waiting for engineers to restore power.

The problems began at about 1200 BST on Wednesday.

Localised faults

Broken tree branches and leaves brought down power lines in Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Essex where several people were injured by flying debris.

Dozens of extra engineers and call centre staff worked through the night to restore electricity supplies.

A spokesman for EDF said it expected the power to be back on everywhere later on Thursday.

The bulk of homes still cut off were in small isolated pockets rather than large towns, the spokesman said.

Weather warning

"Most of those still without power have been affected by localised faults on our low-voltage network, each affecting small numbers of customers.

"We do realise the inconvenience this will be causing them and would like to assure them we are doing everything possible to restore their power as quickly as possible," he said.

In Oundle, Northamptonshire, 41mm of rain - more than a month's average - fell overnight and parts of Cambridgeshire had 34mm in only six hours.

The Meteorological Office is warning of heavy rain in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire in the west of the region and Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex in the east.


SEE ALSO:
More weather misery expected
08 Jul 04  |  England
Two rescued from stranded yacht
07 Jul 04  |  Norfolk


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