Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Power restored to thousands of Portsmouth homes

The substation in Warblington Street, Old Portsmouth
Image caption The power failure affected Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Thousands of residents who faced a day-long power cut after a fire broke out at an electricity substation have had their supply restored.

About 47,000 customers were affected by the fire at the substation in Warblington Street, Old Portsmouth, at about 0140 BST on Saturday.

The fire was brought under control at 0621 BST, although hazardous chemicals delayed engineers making repairs.

Southern Electric restored power to the last 5,000 customers at 2120 BST.

Abseil rescheduled

The company said some customers continued to be supplied by mobile generators, which were deployed across the city, overnight but that would not have affected their supply and they would not have had their supply interrupted when their connection was restored to the main electricity grid.

The blaze was also declared a hazardous material (Hazmat) incident by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service because of the presence of a gas known as sulphur hexafluoride, which is used in the building.

The outage affected Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Guildhall Walk area.

Portsmouth City Council has now closed the helpline it set up for vulnerable residents hit by the power cut.

A mass public abseil event down Spinnaker Tower which was cancelled on Saturday as a result of the power cut is to go-ahead later, the organisers said.

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