Epworth residents count the cost of freak surge

Linda Wood of Reaper's Rise in Epworth with exploded plug.
Linda Wood of Reaper's Rise in Epworth with exploded plug.

A freak electrical surge which exploded plug sockets and blew light bulbs left an Epworth street without power for 12 hours.

The incident is estimated to have cost thousands of pounds in repairs and damages, and occurred at 5.30am on Friday morning along Reaper’s Rise.

Resident Linda Wood said she thought it was a wonder that no-one had been killed, or a fire started.

Electrical engineers were called to the scene to deal with the fault in the mains supply, having to dig up several parts of the road.

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said the surge had caused a huge amount of damage in the houses with light bulbs exploding, security alarms, TVs, Sky boxes, washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, kettles, boiler controls and many other electrical devices blown up.

Resident Linda Wood continued: “Just about everything in the house has gone pop. Some of the fittings exploded in the sockets.

“You could smell burning all day. With a massive surge like that it’s a wonder no-one was killed or a fire started.

“I am left with no dishwasher or washing machine working, with an alarm system that is blown up, no Wi-Fi and just a long list of everything that is wrecked. It is a huge inconvenience and we have no guarantee when everything will be repaired or replaced.”

Next door Craig Coggan was just up when the lights suddenly went very bright. Said partner Sue: “Suddenly there was a loud bang and a light exploded downstairs. As I came out of the bedroom the landing light exploded. I am so lucky not to have the shattered glass in my head. Everyone has been very lucky.

“The worse thing is this is the second time this has happened in the road in about a year. It is terrifying and we are left with everything broken, no heat and hot water over the weekend and just so much inconvenience. We just hope they are not going to try and give us cheap replacements for the goods because we have bought good in the first place.”

Resident Sue Berry said: “It is just about everything here that has gone including three TVs, fridge freezer and 15 light bulbs. There is so much inconvenience and I do hope we are going to be properly compensated. Having happened before you would have thought they would make sure it could not happen again.”

Added Linda Wood: “It is bad enough having all this but if they don’t properly pay for everything and compensate everyone then we will be very angry. Already they are suggesting my alarm system should be changed for a cheap one.”

The homeowners have been told by staff from Northern Powergrid that the surge was caused by water seeking into underground cables. Two big holes were dug immediately after the incident and as those holes have been filled in, others dug.

A spokesman for Northern Powergrid said: “A fault occurred at 5.46am on Friday morning and we started taking calls from customers, the supply was restored at 5.58pm the same day. Our engineers left letters with all the properties affected. This was an unusual underground cable fault and customers had problems with appliances, however we contacted all customers potentially affected and our customer service department are dealing with these individually. We are sorry for any disruption caused and anybody with concerns should give us a call on 0800 375 675.”