Lightning strike causes major power cuts in Mickleton

The Northern Echo: A file image of a lightning strike A file image of a lightning strike

A LIGHTNING strike caused power cuts for homes and businesses in a County Durham village this morning.

Residents in Mickleton in Teesdale reported a thunder storm before a lightning bolt struck an electrical cable.

David Hutchinson, who runs the village service station, said he thought the lightning had struck his business.

He said: “There was a huge flash of light followed by a surge of electricity that fired all my network hubs.

“It was so bright that I thought it had hit us, but actually it hit a bit further away.

“There was a heavy storm with massive hail stones, and then the lighting and thunder.

“We knew it was right above the village because there was no delay between the lightning and thunder.

“Then, just four minutes later, the sun was shining.”

Northern Powergrid said the power cuts, which are understood to have affected the whole village, were reported to them at around 10.15am, with engineers going straight to the scene.

At 12.10pm they issued an update in which they expected the electricity supply to be restored at 12.27pm.

But at 12.35pm they issued another update saying they did not know when full electricity would be restored.

A spokesman said the power cut is affecting about 160 premises in the Mickleton area.

"We received numerous reports of lightning strikes hitting our pole mounted equipment," said the spokesman.

All power was restored by 1.13pm.

Mr Hutchinson said power had already been returned to his business and, thanks to a friend lending him a new network hub, he is open as normal, although is unable to process credit card payments.

He said: “I am on standby now to go to other houses with my generator to provide some power for people’s freezers just in case electricity is not restored.”

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