Families still in the dark

FRUSTRATED families are today still in the dark 72 hours after savage winds cut off their power supply reducing them to conditions nearer the Stone Age than the 21st century.

FRUSTRATED families are today still in the dark 72 hours after savage winds cut off their power supply reducing them to conditions nearer the Stone Age than the 21st century.

Without heat, light and water, the village of Hasketon, near Woodbridge, is one pocket of the county which has not had its power re-connected leaving residents feeling isolated – and cold.

To add insult to injury, six workers from power suppliers 24Seven were seen in the village on Monday playing football in a field close to broken cables. They told one resident they were unable to repair the cables as it was too dangerous and could not do any work until contractors arrived to cut back the trees.

Families have been forced to adapt their modern day luxuries and revert to the habits of their Stone Age ancestors.

Forget the hot showers, the roast diners and the warm, cosy living conditions – they have been replaced with cold temperatures, light by candles, a rationed water supply, using a single stove to cook and going to bed wrapped in layers of clothing.

Steve and Sandra Wells of Bridge Cottage, Hasketon, have four young children aged between two and 11, and are irritated at not being able to get hold of a representative from 24Seven.

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"It has been very frustrating. We have given up trying to ring 24Seven as when we eventually get through all we get is a recorded message and then an engaged tone," said Mr Wells.

Living in such antiquated conditions has been challenging for the family of six and made harder as their water is supplied via a water bore, meaning they have to ration the small amount left in the tank.

"We ran out of water on Tuesday. We had to use it very sparingly for essentials such as cooking and drinking but the tank is now empty.

"We can't flush the toilet, wash-up, bathe the children or clean – it's very difficult and testing.

"The kids wrap-up in their fleeces and wear socks in bed. In fact they have been getting in with us to keep warm. Its dragging on now and they are getting fed up and are bored," said Mrs Wells.

Also left powerless and cold are pensioners Ray and Daphne Hurst, of Tymmes Place, Hasketon.

Out of the12 bungalows in their close, nine of the properties are without electricity.

Despite these testing circumstances they find themselves in, like others they are more annoyed at the inability to get hold of somebody to speak to.

"They should have contingency plans for situations like this. If we could just speak to a human voice and be told when the problem will be fixed is all we ask for," said Mr Hurst.

"Without light it is very boring. We have been listening to the radio and pulled out the board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly which haven't seen the light of day for years to occupy ourselves."