Power outage forces closure of Swanston St shops

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BUSINESSES along a stretch of Swanston Street in Melbourne’s CBD have been forced to shut their doors amid a power blackout.

At least nine shops, including Lord of the Fries, Sushi Hub and Krispy Kreme between Flinders Lane and Collins Street, have been closed since Monday.

And there is no end in sight with Citipower unable to say when it will be fixed.

The closure came after a burst water main flooded the basement of one of the buildings on the busy shopping strip.

CitiPower advised affected businesses that electricity would be cut while they fixed the problem.

But almost a week later and some businesses remain without power, and unable to capitalise on big crowds forecast over the Queen’s birthday long weekend.

Posters on the windows of some shops alert customers to the “unexpected” closure.

An unhappy worker from Lord of the Fries, who wished not to be named, said they never suspected the blackout would go on for so long.

“It’s very unfortunate that we won’t be able to operate our business during this busy time but we can’t do much about it,” he said.

A worker from UGG, who was making up hours at the companies other CBD location, said they had their work week halved due to the closure.

“I’m frustrated, I’ve lost shifts and I’ve lost money,” they said.

Workers say they have been told the power would be restored by this Wednesday.

But a CitiPower spokeswoman said there was “no time frame” on when the issue would be resolved.

“Until a registered electrician goes in and deems it safe for us to connect the power, we can’t restore it,” the spokeswoman said.

The flooding damaged a CitiPower substation below 55 Swanston Street, which has since been checked and cleared. But a customer switchboard was still defective.

The building is home to the International College of Melbourne, Macleay College and VFS Global, which manages visa and passport applications.

selby.stewart@news.com.au

@Selby_Cameron

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