Power to the people of Torphichen

RESIDENTS in Torphichen were treated to a slap up meal after having their power cut off for up to 23 hours last week.

On Sunday, January 9, lights began to flicker in Greenside just before 6pm and Scottish Power workers were sent out to investigate.

A Scottish Power spokeswoman said: “We sent someone out to look at the overhead network and we replaced fuses on it. Forty eight customers were taken off the power at 5.50pm and were back on at 6.30pm. We thought that was the problem fixed.”

But around 10pm, calls were made again to the electricity suppliers as there were signs of fluctuating power supply.

The spokeswoman added: “We realised the problem was underground and we had to take 41 people off the supply again. Fuses were blowing in the substation causing power fluctuation in the households. Some also experienced damaged equipment in their homes.

“We were proactive - we chapped on people’s doors and as we were aware that the power was off for a long time, we offered to put customers up for a meal on Monday night at the Torphichen Inn.”

Thirty two customers took up the offer of the free food and Scottish Power assessors went round the homes affected to check if items needed to be repaired or replaced. Compensation of £54 was paid out to those who had been without electricity for 18 hours or more. Twenty seven customers regained power at 7.30pm on Monday, and the last four customers were back on the grid at 9pm.

Dona Mcfarlane lives at Greenside, Torphichen, and she had to deal with no power for 19 hours, from 10pm on Sunday till 5pm on Monday.

She said: “It was the first day back at school for the kids and we had to make breakfast and wash with no electricity. At 10.45am on Sunday, someone came to see us to say there was a problem with the main cables so we knew what was going on.”

But Dona, husband Ross and children Finlay (8) and Skye (3) found it a very cold night without their central heating.

Dona added: “The power problems had started during the day and the microwave was making funny noises with the power surges.”

Scottish Power apologised for the inconvenience caused and confirmed there was an underground cable fault in the area.

nOn Thursday January 13, there was a power cut for 70 residents in Preston Crescent, Linlithgow, around 1.30pm. A call was made to the fire service and Scottish Power after smoke was seen coming out of a manhole on the street. Scottish Power found that link box fuses had blown in an underground cable which had caused the smoke. Residents regained power at 6pm after the fuses were replaced.