There's power outrage after today's power outage after Comhairle nan Eilean Siar publicly attacked power company SSEN for planning the widespread power cut across Lewis and Harris today (Friday October 16)

On the Council's own Facebook Page, it said: "Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will be making strong representations to SSEN regarding today’s loss of electricity supply.

"SSEN declared on their website that this was a “planned outage”. However, no notice was given to islanders.

"This is unacceptable."

The claim was repeated on the CnES Twitter account.

However, SSEN say the power outage as a result of a major network fault somewhere on the interconnector line where it travels through Harris and this afernoon are overflying the line with a helicopter to try to trace the source of the problem.

A total of 17,774 customers in all of Harris, Scalpay and Lewis were affected by the cut which began at 10.28am. 

At about 11am power was restored in central Stornoway – only to go off again 3 minutes later.  A blip of power occured a few minutes later, leading to fears of massive damage to electronic equipment if the on-off situation continued.  The power then returned again at 11.06am. Power was then restored in stages across Stornoway, reaching Goathill Road about 20 minutes later, for instance. 

Power was restored to the whole area by 12.50pm and all three islands are being supplied with power from Battery Point power station in Stornoway until the link to the mainland can be restored.

Comments on the CnES Facebook Page pointed out there "are two pieces of information on the SSEN website. One which is a genuine planned outage and the other which is the unexpected loss of supplies across Lewis and Harris."

Another comment said: "The app says the planned outage was in 3 postcodes only, and there is also now the notification for the current unplanned fault affecting all postcodes."

A third said:"Don’t do anything silly until you’ve read the SSE statements properly. 3 small postcodes planned, the rest is major fault which nobody could predict."

There were also power cuts in North Uist and Benbcula at the height of the problem. 

Photograph below shows work under way during the Arivruaich planned outage.