It is clear that the power outages we recorded this weekend were not all caused by the wild firework displays and bonfires celebrating Guy Fawkes Night. The severe weather certainly played a bigger part in disruptions reported. However, expected or unexpected, power disruptions are always causing chaos and frustrations, bringing businesses to a standstill and even putting people’s lives in danger. Other disruptions can be caused by technical glitches, accidents or human errors.
We are already expecting snow to hit most of Scotland and the North of England this week so how well prepared are the UK businesses? How will you protect your business from power outages & disruptions this winter season?
We have summarised some of the power disruptions that happened this weekend in the UK, in Norway and across the world. There is no doubt that some power cuts are caused by severe weather patterns developing around the globe.
Power cut forces Tesco in Yorkshire to close for business
Goole, East Yorkshire, UK
Customers were turned away from a supermarket in Goole on Saturday 5th November, after a power cut brought business to a standstill. The Tesco superstore was forced to close after a power outage that happened at around 11AM. Shoppers were still arriving at the store two hours after the power cut only to be turned away by Tesco staff.
Angry customers were waiting outside the store hoping to get in. One of the customers was reported to say: "I came to Tesco and the power is off. I have no idea why a supermarket of this size does not have a backup plan. Having some infrastructure in place like UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and backup generator to protect their power would definitely be expected." Twitter user @HolliePaylingg posted: "Only Goole comes to a standstill because Tesco has had a power cut and is shut. Traffic's mental."
A Tesco official was unable to give any information about when the power cut would be solved and confirmed the store at Goole was closed to customers due to a power outage at the store and they were working to reopen the store as soon as possible.
Over 9,000 homes left without power after winter storm hits Norway
Some homes in Agder area have been without power since Saturday morning caused by heavy snowfall. On Sunday morning, there were just over 9,000 households without power but many of those had service restored throughout the course of the day.
Nearly 3,000 households in Agder were still without power on the 7th November, after the snowfall downed trees in the area and new outages were being caused by new trees falling across powerlines and causing outages. The winter storm has also cut power for residents of Telemark and Vestfold. Almost 1,000 homes were without power on Monday morning according to Skagerrak Energi. A Norway energy company Farestveit spokesman said their employees were working around the clock to restore service.
Geelong huge power outage as gales hit city and surrounding areas
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
A massive power outage has hit Geelong as strong gales batter the area on Saturday. There has been news of building damage around the city, and trees have been felled across the region.
The reports say that most issues were due to strong gales with trees being blown down on to power lines. Blustery winds with gusts over 70 miles an hour battering the state of Victoria left 130,000 properties without power, with residents overcrowding the power company call centre. Energy companies asked customers to check their websites for updates rather than contacting already overwhelmed customer service line unless they are in a dangerous situation.
A single-car accident disrupts the power in Londonderry and Manchester
Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
The power outage lasted nearly eight hours for more than 2,000 households. It was reported that a car hit a telephone pole around 9:30 AM on Saturday near the Manchester Boston Regional Airport.
Fire officials said the utility pole and transformer that was struck, services one of Eversource’s largest lines. "Crews arrived, found a single vehicle struck a telephone pole and had gone off in the woods. The telephone pole ultimately came down with the wires and the transformer, resulting in a power outage in the area," said Battalion Chief Michael McQuillen, of the Londonderry Fire Department.
Officials send erroneous message announcing island-wide power outage
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
A technical malfunction in the Integrated Voice Response system (IVR) at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority created an error message that was sent to all island’s residents about an island-wide service interruption on St. Croix on Saturday. The IVR is an automated system designed to inform customers of service interruptions. At approximately 6 AM on Saturday, St. Croix residents started getting the erroneous message declaring an island-wide service disruption.
WAPA officials later announced that there were no planned island-wide interruptions for anywhere around the island on Saturday, 5th November 2016. The authority apologised for any inconvenience caused by the system’s technical fault.