x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

10-hour power cuts hit Al Reef and Shahama

Residents without water and electricity 'because of fog'.

ABU DHABI // Some residents of Al Reef and parts of Shahama were left without water or electricity for more than 10 hours yesterday after a breakdown at the Shahama power plant.

The power and water supply stopped about 6.45am.

"My husband hasn't even gone to work because he can't go in without taking a shower," said Rachel Whitcher, from Britain. "But he can't work at home either because the internet has gone, too."

Al Reef, which opened in late 2008, has about 1,500 residents. Its developer, Manazel Real Estate, posted on the community's Facebook site that the power cut was caused by "issues at the power station in Shahama".

A generator was taken to Al Reef at about 3.30pm and provided power to parts of the village but some residents complained they were without electricty late into the afternoon.

Ms Whitcher said the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), which runs the power station, was blaming the cut on the fog.

"We were told that the power will come back once the fog lifts, but it's obviously not because of the fog because it already lifted at least a few hours ago," she said."The fact that it's literally the whole village and parts of Shahama that are being affected is really not good. You cannot do anything; no flushing of toilets, no lights and no information."

Another resident, Ahmed Elgohary, woke up to find the air conditioning was off.

"It was such a bad morning with no shower, no AC and no coffee," Mr Elgohary said. "I guess I also won't get any food today because my cooker is electric. I just hope they fix it soon."

ADDC had a recorded message on its emergency help line for people calling about the issue.

"If you're calling about the power outage, our technical team is currently attending to this situation. This service will be restored shortly," said the message. The problems follow a seven-hour power cut in Al Reef in March this year.

"It is not the first time this has happened," said a British mother, who is eight months pregnant.

"I'm worried about sitting in such a hot house while I'm pregnant. And what about the food in the freezer? Is it going to be safe to eat now?"

Yesterday afternoon residents still did not know when power services would return to normal.

Manazel refused to comment on the incident and a representative for ADDC could not be reached.

molson@thenational.ae