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4 September 2012
Excavator knocks over electricity pole
Basil Read power outage St Helena

Chloe Terry, SHBC


On Monday evening, 3rd September at around 7pm, the majority of the island experienced a power failure that lasted approximately two hours in most areas. Some properties in Deadwood were still without power at lunchtime on Tuesday. It has been reported that the incident was caused by the Basil Read 70 tonne excavator catching a cable whilst driving across the Plain and pulling over an electricity pole.

On Monday evening a temporary fix was made by out-of-hours contractors NT Power Tech, so power was restored to most areas. On Tuesday morning, the damaged pole leaned heavily to one side and the electricity wires hung low over the road. The excavator could be seen behind the damage.

On Deadwood Plain, SHBC spoke to Graham Moyce, an employee of NT Power Tech who was preparing the new pole to be fitted into the ground, “Well actually the pole that they damaged, we’re going to erect a new pole and plus we are going to get the power back to the area of Deadwood.  Last night this thing happened and it put almost the whole of the island out.  As we were leaving last night from Alarm Forest where we were working on the lines, Nicky saw the flash and we knew right away that Basil Read had done something there.”

Mr Martin Squibbs, Acting Head of Energy gave a statement on Tuesday to SHBC. “Apparently a pole was knocked down in the Deadwood Plain area causing disruption of the electricity supply and also telephones as well. Most of the island was restored, that feeder currently feeds Longwood, Deadwood Plain obviously, Levelwood, round as far as Blue Hill and Thompson’s Hill, so quite a substantial part of the island was out of power.  The incident happened out of hours, so we have an out of hours call out contract which responded. That’s first response, so I’m happy that we had all the resources necessary to make sure this was dealt with in a professional manner in the shortest time as possible. The weather was really quite bad in the area so they had difficulty repairing and making the connection good. What I need to do now is find out exactly what happened and make sure there’s not a repeat of that incident, which is what I’ll try and do.”

At 15:30 on Tuesday no official response from the SHG Airport Directors office was available.

A full report will be available in this week’s Sentinel.

St Helena Island news archive for September 2012



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