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Shops in Hythe hit by power cut after generator runs out of fuel
IT was supposed to maintain vital power supplies to homes and businesses while engineers completed major work to electricity suplies.
But traders and residents in a Hampshire village were left fuming yesterday when a temporary generator failed throwing the high street into chaos.
More than 150 properties in the Pylewell Road area of Hythe were hit by a power cut at 12.30pm.
Scores of shop owners already struggling in the financial crisis were unable to use tills and other electrical appliances, while restaurant staff were unable to cook for diners.
Power was eventually restored three hours later – but it was already too late to claw back lost takings and some had already shut early for the day.
Last night power giant Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) launched an investigation after admitting the generator – set up to provide alternative power during a three-day modernisation scheme – had run out of fuel.
Contractors installed it on Tuesday to maintain supplies while the main substation in School Road was switched off.
Ironically the network improvements, scheduled to finish today are to reduce the risk of power cuts hitting the village.
Chris Parfitt was unable to operate machinery in his hardware store C A Parfitt and Son in The Marsh until contractors refuelled it.
He said it had hit takings and added: “We couldn’t cut keys or mend shoes so we are now behind with work and we’ve lost a bit of trade.
“It’s very poor that it was put there to make sure we keep businesses running and it has run out itself.”
Keith Toms of jewellers J.Collins and Son said: “We’ve been doing our best, but people haven’t been able to look at diamond rings properly in the darkness. Most people pay by cards these days so we weren’t able to do that.”
Rick Devereux, who runs J R Hardware said: “How can they let it run out of diesel? Trade is hard enough as it is without this happening.”
An SSE spokesman said: “We are looking into the background of how the generator ran out of fuel. Keeping the power on for our customers is our main priority and we apologise for the interruption.
“Improvement works should be completed by close of business today.”
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