Businesses kept in dark … literally

Tattooist Lina Leppinmieir, of Inkworks Tattoo Studio, still dealing with a backlog of customers due power outages. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d397047
Tattooist Lina Leppinmieir, of Inkworks Tattoo Studio, still dealing with a backlog of customers due power outages. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d397047

Frequent power outages in Kelmscott in the past month caused headaches for local businesses owners but Western Power says the cuts were due to unrelated network faults.

A Western Power spokesman told Comment News there were three power outages in the Kelmscott area recently, the first on Wednesday, February 13, which cut power to 1743 customers for half an hour in the morning.

On Friday, February 22, an outage for an hour in the afternoon coincided with a higher than usual number of faults in the metro network due to a sudden change in the weather.

On Friday, March 1, a tree contractor cut down a tree, which came into contact with power lines, causing a 40-minute outage from about 2pm.

Kelmscott hairdresser Crystal Sneddon said Bianca’s Cut-n-Colour had to perform cuts in the dark during one outage, and had to shut down and turn away booked customers on March 1 as the power stayed off until 5pm.

Domino’s Pizza was forced to close for two hours during a Friday outage.

Inkworks Tattoo Studio co-owner Stephen Powers was mid-tattoo on a customer when the power went off.

He had to tell the man to go home and avoid washing off the stencil.

The studio then experienced a backlog of appointments due to the power cuts as it is normally booked up several weeks in advance.

‘Three successive weeks is too much,’ Mr Powers said.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said the frequency of power outages in the Armadale area was prompting the City to consider tenders for the installation of a stand-by generator after power cuts had forced the administration building to shut down.

‘Power outages have resulted from many factors including pole-top fires, accidents by vehicles damaging poles and aerial cables, failure of Western Power’s infrastructure and transmission cables, pole-top transformers and weather conditions,’ Cr Zelones said. ‘While outlying operations such as the depot, waste transfer station and the libraries may have had power, systems were offline due to the central IT data services being unable to operate.

‘This condition effectively closes all of the City of Armadale operations and customer services.

‘Council meetings have also been disrupted due to power outages and, in the worst case, have had to be rescheduled.’