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Homes still without power 72 hours after storm
4:20pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in News
A ROAD full of residents has been left without power for more than 30 hours after storms swept across south Essex.
About 30 homes in Oak Avenue, Crays Hill, near Billericay, are still in the dark after trees took out their power lines at about 3.30am on Monday as winds of up to 70mph battered the area.
As of yesterday afternoon, maintenance workers from UK Power Networks were still no closer to getting the electricity back on.
Harry Scott, who is in his sixties and from Oak Avenue, said he and his wife, Anne, had been unable to shower since Sunday as they had no hot water.
He said they could only see by candlelight and had been forced to dine out on Monday evening as their kitchen and appliances are all electric.
He said: “We’ve been without power for about 30 hours now.
“Basically, we have been doing everything by candlelight and on Monday we went to bed at 8pm.
“The food that we have got in the fridge is also on the way out. The only thing we have been able to do is make tea and coffee, as we have a gas stove.
“We thought the power would have been fixed by Tuesday morning, but clearly not.
“How can it take that long to stick a wire back in?”
Across Essex, about 6,000 homes were still without power yesterday in the aftermath of Monday’s storm.
The worst-hit areas in south Essex were Billericay, Grays, Stanford-le-Hope and Rayleigh.
A spokeswoman for UK Power Networks was unable to say when power would be restored to Oak Avenue.
She said: “The stormwas the biggest the company has coped with since 2002 and it affected power to nearly 620,000 customers.
“Other electricity distribution companies are supporting by lending their staff and today about 900 engineers are working hard to repair the damaged network and restore power to customers as soon as possible.
That is six times the usual number on duty.
“Engineers are currently working with us from Yorkshire, Liverpool, south Wales and the Midlands. We are also carrying out helicopter patrols to check overhead power lines.”
The storm clear-up has now begun across the region with trees being removed from roads and rail services returning to normal.
Southend Council has had to clear 20 fallen trees, which were blown down by the strong winds.
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