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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Carlisle city centre power cut forces shops to close

A power cut hit nearly 200 shops and businesses in Carlisle city centre today.

Many stores were forced to close when the electricity went off at 1.40pm and remained off for up to an hour.

The blackout affected Devonshire Street and parts of English Street, Lowther Street and Botchergate.

A spokesman for Electricity North West said 194 customers had lost their supply.

He added: “Everybody was reconnected within an hour. We don’t yet know the cause. Engineers are investigating.”

Many shops closed including Boots in English Street where customers were evacuated.

Team manager Brenda Paterson said: “We had to shut because we had no lighting and the tills were off. Unfortunately, we had to ask people who were waiting for medication to leave.”

Boots lost about £2,000 in takings.

Elsewhere, some shoppers were seen being ushered by security staff out of Tesco’s store on the Viaduct, which was left in darkness by the power cut.

Zoe Allan, owner of Zoe’s Hair Salon in English Street, also lost trade.

She said: “I had a lady who had to walk out with wet hair. I offered her a free cut and blow dry next time.”

The power cut knocked out traffic lights and disrupted Cumbria County Council’s offices at The Courts. The Cumberland Building Society in English Street remained open, although with computers down staff had to process transactions manually.

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