Power out after storm

By Liz Mellino

Thousands of Goulburn Valley residents were left without power for most of the morning last Wednesday after a fierce storm affected power supply across the region.

More than 5000 lightning strikes were recorded between 7am and 9am within 150km of Shepparton, causing power outages to about 7000 customers in the region.

Powercor confirmed people were affected in Arcadia, Toolamba, Murchison and Dhurringile, while more than 550 homes and businesses were without power in Tatura.

It was an interesting first day back for Tatura Primary School students, with the school without power from about 8am until 11.30am.

Principal Susanne Gill said the outages affected the school’s telephone and communication lines, leaving students and teachers without air-conditioning in the humid weather.

‘‘It is a little bit unfortunate because it was our first day with children, it just meant we didn’t have any phone communication, power, air-conditioning and it got a bit sticky after a while,’’ she said.

‘‘Despite it all, the children were really excited about starting school and so were the teachers... I think the biggest potential problem for us was not having any coffee.’’

A number of businesses along Hogan St, Tatura, were also left without power for most of the morning, with the bakery and pharmacy confirming the outages affected their usual busy morning trade.

Tatura Bakery and Lunches manager Sue Bevilacqua said she had to think creatively to cater for customers after they were left without power for about three hours.

‘‘Everybody missed out on their normal coffee, however, I did offer them instant and cups of tea, I put a kettle on my gas cooker and I got on with it just to keep them all happy,’’ she said.

‘‘We missed out on sales of hot pies, pasties, sausage rolls, egg and bacon rolls. All of our morning trade was gone, this is a busy time for us because all of our tradies come in first thing in the morning, so they all missed out.’’

Next door at the AHS Tatura Pharmacy, manager Heath Robbins said they were forced to close because of a number of public liability issues.

‘‘We weren’t allowed to open, so we definitely missed out on some customers, that is definitely the busiest period of the day for us,’’ he said.