ONE resident has described Clunes as a “ghost town” after more than 600 homes and businesses were left without power last week.
Clunes businesses, including the local newsagency and pub, were forced to shut their doors as Powercor performed planned maintenance.
More than 630 customers were affected during the power outage.
The situation created a number of issues across the district after the power was cut off about 9am last Tuesday. Power was finally restored to anxious customers six hours later, at 3pm.
A lot of residents were disappointed with the timing of the work, including 82-year-old Barb Webb.
“They picked the wrong time of the year to be doing this,” Ms Webb said.
“Clunes has a lot of aged people and if you haven’t got any wood heating it is not much good.
“You can’t even go to bed to stay warm because the electric blanket doesn’t work.
“My sister who is 81 and I went into Ballarat to Wendouree Village and we meet half of Clunes in there trying to stay warm as well.”
Ken Gibson, from Clunes Newsagency, said he had no choice but to close the doors of his business until the power was back up and running.
“There’s not much you can do about it (but close the doors),” Mr Gibson said.
“In this day and age we can’t sell Tattersalls, phone cards and things like that.”
Mr Gibson described Clunes as a ghost town during the power outage.
“The whole place is a bit of a ghost town at the moment, there’s not much happening anywhere,” he said.
“We were told (Monday) by someone at Powercor that the power would be back on by 12pm, so that’s a bit disappointing.”
The mass outage meant the Clunes townsfolk couldn’t even pass the time with a beer or two, as The Clunes Club Hotel was also out of action.
“It is a massive inconvenience, not just for our business but most of the town,” hotel manager Mark Allen said.
CitiPower and Powercor Australia external affairs manager, Drew Douglas said disruption was an unavoidable consequence during maintenance of this kind.
“We try to work with customers on which days work better,” Mr Douglas said.
“Obviously there’s never a perfect time for everyone.
“We have to notify customers a minimum of four days ahead of work via post and if we have their contact number, text messages are sent out with updates.
“The current work is all maintenance and upgrades following some issues in Clunes over the summer,” Mr Douglas said last week.
Maintenance work by Powercor last Tuesday was carried out around the Fraser Street and Maryborough Road areas.