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Sunday, 3 November, 2002, 16:16 GMT
'Wait almost over' for power cut homes
A woman walks her dog in Cheshire after the gales of 27 October
Gales of up to 80 mph ripped down trees and cables
The company responsible for supplying electricity to homes that are still without power following last weekend's gales says it hopes all will be re-connected by the end of Sunday.

Thousands of homes, mainly in East Anglia, were still cut off on Saturday after winds of up to 80 miles an hour had ripped down power lines last Sunday.

However, electricity supplier 24seven said that by 2pm on Sunday it knew of only 1,300 customers that still needed re-connection.

A spokesman for the firm said it was confident everybody would have power by the end of the day.

Extra engineers

The worst affected area was still around Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.


I think we have performed all right, although I know people probably won't agree with that, especially if they have been off since Sunday

24seven spokesman

The firm had been severely criticised for making slow progress in re-connecting customers.

It was forced to call in engineers from France, Scotland, Manchester, Northern Ireland, the south of England and Wales, to help correct faults.

The firm's spokesman said a full review of procedures for dealing with similar situations was now under way.

''We are keen to learn and take action to make changes and we will consult customers,'' he said.

About 300,000 of the company's three million customers in East Anglia were affected by power failure.

Angry farmer

A second spokesperson defended the company's performance during the week, but accepted many customers were angry.

She said: "We have performed all right, although I know people probably won't agree with that, especially if they have been off since Sunday.

"The winds we had on Sunday were at times equal to those we had in 1987.

"Then it took two, sometimes three weeks to get power fully restored."

An engineer carries out repairs
A review of procedures is under way by 24seven

One customer still angry was Mike Hollingsworth, who owns a farm near Felixstowe, Suffolk.

He said lighting had been restored but not other power and accused 24seven of not being truthful about the situation.

Mr Hollingsworth said 24seven had promised his supply would be fully restored by Wednesday.

''We had so-called managers here on Friday saying they were sorting it out and we still haven't got power.

"If they'd only be truthful and tell you that you're going to be without power for a week then I'd have known where I stood and got a generator.''

The company is not planning to pay compensation to any of its customers under its usual terms because last weekend's weather was exceptional.

The power industry regulator Ofgem will decide whether or not the company's decision is acceptable.

British Power International (BPI) will carry out an investigation into the electricity industry's performance after the storms.

See also:

03 Nov 02 | Scotland
01 Nov 02 | Business
01 Nov 02 | UK
31 Oct 02 | UK
31 Oct 02 | England
31 Oct 02 | Europe
28 Oct 02 | Business
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