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STORES LOSE A PACKETIN BLACKOUT; Underground cable at fault.

Byline: ANNETTE MORGAN

RUGBY town centre traders lost thousands of pounds due to a blackout which cut power from 30 businesses and properties on Thursday, it emerged today.

Bosses from East Midland Electricity (EME) worked to restore the power, which went at 8.26am, but some were not reconnected until 3pm.

Chris Verdin, manager of Marks and Spencer, in High Street, said the store had lost thousands.

She said they had also been forced to throw away thousands more pounds worth of fresh good, which could not be sold.

She said: "We had lights and some power but no tills at all, so we could not serve the customers.

"Yesterday, we had problems refilling the stock and people coming in who could not do their shopping still disappointed."

She said electricity workers were in the store until 11am on Thursday trying to rectify the problem.

Jayne Scott, manager of Top Shop, in Market Place, said she was concerned at the way EME dealt with it.

"I appreciate things go wrong, but it is a big business and I think it could have kept us better informed with what was happening," she said.

"We had to ring for updates throughout the day. EME did not call us back at all."

She said the Top Shop branch had also lost thousands of pounds.

EME said the power cut was due to a fault on an underground cable in Little Church Street.

Spokeswoman Rebecca Middleton said the power supply went off at 8.26am, but was restored to the majority of customers at around midday.

She said: "The power had to be taken off again at 6pm to six customers to make further repairs. The power was fully restored to all properties by 10.15pm.

"East Midlands Electricity would like to apologise to all those customers affected by the power cut."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 11, 2003
Words:308
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