In several municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia, the lights went out on Friday evening: no more electricity and in many cases no heating either. A fire had paralyzed a substation.
Neunkirchen-Seelscheid – After a fire with serious damage in a transformer station, tens of thousands of people in the Rhein-Sieg district in North Rhine-Westphalia had to get by without electricity for around 24 hours. The fire went out on Friday evening for 41,000 affected residents in several communities.
The utility company Westnetz reported that numerous emergency power generators were in operation on Saturday until the large-scale disruption could finally be completely remedied in the late evening. Firefighters and helpers from the THW provided support in the municipalities. The authorities offered childcare places in schools and called for neighborhood help.
The provider thanked those affected for their patience and the helpers for their commitment. “We are very aware that the last 24 hours have brought significant restrictions. We would also like to thank the municipalities concerned, the district, the fire brigades and the THW for their tireless efforts, “said the head of the primary technology department, Florian Witt, in a message on Saturday evening. The repair of the damage will still take a few days, as the Westnetz fitters were initially only able to put some lines back into operation temporarily, he explained. According to the company, a technical defect led to the fire.
Electricity flows again
According to Westnetz, the fire that broke out on Friday around 7.15 p.m. severely damaged parts of the 10,000-volt switchgear in the Neunkirchen-Seelscheid substation. Elaborate cleaning and repair work is necessary there. At the same time, a connection to a 30,000 volt voltage level was created. With the help of this bypass, the power supply is back on. Since 6 p.m. on Saturday, over 21,000 people in Much and Ruppichteroth have had electricity again. Another 20,000 residents of Neunkirchen-Seelscheid were gradually added from 9.30 p.m. Since 11:15 p.m., those last affected by the failure had electricity. Over 80 fitters from Westnetz and partner companies were on duty.
The authorities had called for neighborhood help on Saturday afternoon after an emergency power supply had been set up for important buildings. “It is now important that the citizens take care of elderly or single people in their neighborhood and inform the local fire department stores if help is needed,” said District Administrator Sebastian Schuster (CDU) after a crisis meeting. When installing and operating emergency power generators, the focus was primarily on the residents of old people’s homes. In addition, according to the authorities, temporary care places have been set up in schools for those people who could not take care of themselves or who need electrical medical equipment or are dependent on medical care. dpa