Major power cut wipes out electricity to 22,000 homes
Tuesday 9th October 2018 @ 20:15 by Nigel Skinner
Ashton News Tameside

Electricity North West engineers have been battling to restore power to the whole town of Ashton this evening after the entire network was wiped out.

The power cut happened just before 4pm cutting electricity to 22,000 homes, all of the town’s businesses and causing commuting chaos with all traffic lights out of action.

The Metrolink was also knocked out.

Engineers had restored power to 18,000 properties in Ashton by 8pm.

By 8.15pm that had become 20500 homes, with Electricity North West blaming a third party organisation for causing multiple damage to underground cables in the afternoon.

The damage was caused to a 33,000 volt underground power cable serving the area.

Electricity North West incident manager, Chris Fox said: “We have 30 engineers on site and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to restore so many customers in just over three hours considering the damage that has been done to the underground cables.

“With multiple cables damaged on our network, it will take some time to repair. In the meantime, we are switching customers to other parts of the network, and will restore the remaining customers via generators which are currently on the way to site.”

Electricity North West is proactively contacting customers on its priority service register who may need additional support, and is asking people to contact them if they know of anyone who is medically dependant on electricity.

Motorists are urged to take care while driving as traffic lights will be down in the area.

The Tameside Reporter has also been hit by the power cut with electricity supplies only recently restored earlier this evening.

Food vans

Three food vans were despatched by Electricity North West to Hurst Cross in Ashton this evening to help families in the areas where the power is expected to take longest to restore.

One of the vans operated by KK Catering was situated at The Royal Oak where Josh, Ian, Malcolm and Scott were kept busy tonight rustling up sausages, eggs and bacon for locals who had been unable to cook tea for families.

They were also giving out teas and coffees and water as required.

The lads said they were more than happy to help and would remain until the power came back on.

“If that’s 5am in the morning – then we’ll be here till five in the morning,” they said.

Two other food vans are located at the Texaco Garage near Nook Lane.

Main picture: Chaos early this evening at the Park Parade traffic light complex where five main routes converge near Asda in Ashton, and where motorists gingerly made their way across routes with lengthy tail backs as a result.