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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 09:10 GMT
Power blackout enters fifth day
Electricity pylons
Parts of England are facing a fifth day without power
More than 23,000 properties across England are still without power, five days after the weekend storms.

But railway services are returning to normal.

Eurostar is running its London to Brussels and Paris services.

GNER, Midland Mainline and Thameslink are returning to standard timetables.

Essex remains one of the worst-hit power black-out areas, with 5,700 properties still without supplies.


This storm is being viewed by many electric companies as being outside the remit of the guaranteed standards

Angela Lawrence, 24Seven
Electricity company 24Seven said it accepted customers were suffering inconvenience and discomfort.

Engineering crews were working round the clock and they hoped to have power restored to most households by Thursday evening.

But residents may not be entitled to any compensation because the storms which caused the blackouts, are deemed to be acts of God.

Under the guaranteed standards of service, households without power for more 18 hours are entitled to 50 in compensation, while businesses receive 100.

Angela Lawrence, from 24Seven, said that, like other electricity companies, it was currently discussing whether storm damage means the company will not have to pay out.


I really hope that we will quickly see some light at the end of the tunnel

Janet Morrow, East Midlands Electricity
"As an act of God, this storm is now being viewed by many electric companies as being outside the remit of those guaranteed standards," she said.

"We are, in common with some of the other electricity distributors, talking to regulator Ofgen as to how we should approach the issue of payment."

There are also still problems in Norfolk (3,000 properties) the West Midlands (1,500) and Lincolnshire (665).

East Midlands Electricity said most of its affected customers should have power again by the end of Thursday.

Janet Morrow, of East Midlands Electricity, said: "We drafted in all of our contractors to help, and also got 11 extra teams from Northern Ireland and three from Northern Electricity.

"We have around 350 people working to put the problems right, and I really hope that we will quickly see some light at the end of the tunnel."

See also:

29 Oct 02 | England
29 Oct 02 | UK
29 Oct 02 | UK
28 Oct 02 | England
28 Oct 02 | Business
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