Outage umbrella a warning

The remains of the umbrella that caused a power cut to most of Alexandra on January 15. Photo: Aurora Energy
The remains of the umbrella that caused a power cut to most of Alexandra on January 15. Photo: Aurora Energy
The mystery of Mary Poppins has been solved - sort of.

Aurora Energy has released a photo of the umbrella that caused a power outage to most of Alexandra last week, and it was a humble beach umbrella - not one with any magical powers.

An Aurora spokesman said it was thought the lightweight beach umbrella had blown off the top of a passing rubbish truck and floated down on to the high voltage power line, in Fox St, on January 15.

The resulting fault cut power to 1645 homes in Alexandra and caused a social media storm about the cause of the power outage.

Aurora operations and service delivery John Campbell said the incident showed the ''damage and disruption'' to power supplies that loose items interfering with overhead lines could cause.

It was a ''timely reminder'' to secure ''all loose items'' to stop them blowing away and on to overhead lines, Mr Campbell said.

His safety advice included a reminder to people never to try to retrieve any items that became tangled in an overhead line.

''Always call Aurora Energy on 0800 220 005,'' he said.

pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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