Power outage forces businesses to close early 

WARRNAMBOOL businesses suffered another financial setback yesterday after a power outage yesterday forced many on Raglan Parade, including those in major shopping centres, to close.

Large retailers such as Harris Scarfe and Fantastic Furniture in the Homemaker Centre and nearby Harvey Norman were left without power for more than 90 minutes mid-afternoon.

Most of the speciality stores in Gateway Plaza also closed after the power outage hit at 2.30pm.

Gateway Plaza centre manager Tony Scott said the speciality stores closed for the remainder of the day after they were advised power might not be restored for up to four hours.

He said Coles and Kmart resumed trading when power was restored about 4.20pm.

The blackout follows the Warrnambool Telstra outage in November which caused tens of millions of dollars in losses to local businesses and took nearly a month to fully rectify.

The local economy has also been dented by the collapse of the Banksia Securities company in October that reduced the finances of many local investors. 

The power outage also put traffic lights along Raglan Parade from east to west Warrnambool into constant flashing mode. Police stepped in to control traffic until power was restored.

A Powercor spokesman said a power cable to a power pole failed after it was affected by moisture from a storm that hit Warrnambool yesterday afternoon. He said the cable failure cut power to more than 1700 customers.

The spokesman said most of the customers affected had power restored through remote-control switching by 3.13pm.

Power was restored to all customers by 4.30pm, the spokesman said.

He said Powercor regretted the inconvenience to traders and other customers in the wider community.

The Fantastic Furniture store at the Homemaker Centre was without power for more than 90 minutes but reopened later in the evening.

Across Raglan Parade, Bunnings Warehouse switched to back-up power to continue operating.

Warrnambool Toyota on the western end of Raglan Parade was also affected, losing power for about 30 minutes.

Yesterday’s outage followed another during high temperatures on Friday afternoon that cut power to about 1000 customers — some until 11am Saturday.

The cause of Friday’s outage was a blown transformer on Jamieson Street.

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