Update at 4.15pm: The power supply was restored to Uckfield High Street at 4.10pm today.
Update at 12.32pm, Monday, July 11: A spokesperson for UK Power Networks said engineers were working to restore power supplies to customers in Uckfield High Street after a third party damaged one of their underground electricity cables at 11.38am.
The spokesperson said they would have a clearer idea of the number of businesses affected later and added: “Engineers are working to restore all power supplies as swiftly and as safely as possible.”
James Anderson, an Uckfield town councillor, who owns All Sorts shop nearby said the damage was caused by SE Water as they worked on water meters next to Cheese Etc.
He added he had been told it would be about an hour-and-a-half until engineers could transfer the power to another line.
Which shops were affected, and how, would depend on the phasing of their electricity supply.
Our original story at 12.10pm: Uckfield High Street shops were plunged into darkness shortly after water works began this morning.
Digging had just got under way, next to the new Cheese Etc shop at 168 High Street, and next to a spot where other workmen were installing new street lighting when, it is understood, a mains cable was “cut through”.
Cheese Etc had only opened for the first time at 10am and the owners Martin Sergison and Sharon Douglas, were delighted with the way the shop was being received when the lights and refridgerators went off at about 11.30am. It was a big blow for the couple but Sharon was calm as she said: “These things are sent to try us.”
Strangely not every shop in the row was affected. Miss Bloomsbury next door, going down the hill, was without power but then it wasn’t until Kamsons that the lights were out again. Their upstairs lights were working but not downstairs.
Pizza Express able to continue cooking
The new Chapter Three was hit and so was Lloyds Bank but their neighbours were unaffected.
Across the road Pizza Express had lost some power but were still able to continue cooking. The Picture House Cinema was unaffected but the Picture House Restaurant was in darkness. Their neighbours, The Flower Shop was open for business as usual.
• This story will be updated as we find out how long the lights are likely to be out.