Focus on the Land
Night out plunged into dark
Monday, September 17, 2012
A BLACKOUT throughout the city and central suburbs saw about 6900 properties and bar patrons in the dark for 15 minutes on Saturday night.
Eastland Network general manager of energy Brent Stewart said the power went out from 10.50pm until 11.05pm.
The Gisborne Herald received reports of outages from Kaiti Beach to Mangapapa.
Bars were just starting to reach peak patronage for a Saturday night but were prepared and kept bar patrons inside with emergency lighting to ride out the outage.
Kingfisher Bar owner Paul Alovili said it was “quite a shock” but they were prepared to deal with such events.
It occurred just before peak period and he said they were about half-capacity at the time.
“Our main concern was keeping everyone inside and off the street for safety reasons,” said Mr Alovili.
He said the previous owner of the bar had experienced a similar event about a year ago, so they had large torches ready to use for back-up lighting.
Shipwreck bar owner Rob Scott said it was sudden but they were still able to serve and managed to get some music playing from a friend’s car parked up near the bar.
“The music stopped and all the lights went out. But patrons realised that the whole town was out and we were still able to serve drinks, so everyone just chilled inside,” he said.
“We just carried on as normal. It created a bit of a buzz really.”
Shipwreck also had emergency lighting, although Mr Scott said this was the first time he had experienced an outage in the two years since the bar opened.
Mr Stewart said the electricity outage was caused by a circuit break at the Transpower substation in Massey road.
This affected both Eastland Network’s Carnarvan Street and port substations, which supply 6900 connections in central Gisborne.
“The cause is unknown. We’re still looking into it with Transpower,” said Mr Stewart.
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