At least 16 high-voltage masts fell over at Rjukan. It will take several days to get the power back

High-voltage mastPhoto: Stannum AS / NTB
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It will take several days to get the power back to the customers who have been affected after at least 16 high-voltage masts fell to the ground at Rjukan in Tinn municipality.

On Sunday evening, 32 customers were without electricity, including a dam plant for Statkraft and an air safety system owned by Avinor, after at least 16 high-voltage masts fell over in the last week.

Stein Øyvind Bystrøm at Stannum AS, the company responsible for the masts, told news bureau NTB on Sunday that they prioritize Statkraft and Avinor, but that they assume it will take another five days before they get the power back.

The rest of the roughly 30 customers are primarily cabin customers.

According to Bystrøm, there is not much traffic in the mountain area, but he assumes that it will pick up as Christmas week approaches. 

Many of those affected will probably be able to celebrate Christmas with electricity at the cottage, but not all of them.

“I reckon that some of them can celebrate Christmas at the cabin, but ten, twelve will not get electricity until the end of the year. They are the ones in the middle of the accident area,” Bystrøm added.

Unpredictable

“It is extremely important that people stay away. It’s unpredictable,” Bystrøm told NTB.

If several masts start to fall, another 10 to 15 masts can quickly be torn down like dominoes. 

Bystrøm says the power cables, which are disconnected, are low above the ground and can be dangerous for snowmobile drivers.

The problems started already on Tuesday. On Sunday, at least 16 high-voltage masts were torn down. 

Not possible to repair – for now

“We have had crews out but have given priority to repairing and saving the part of the line that is still up and running. So we have not checked if more masts have fallen,” Bystrøm told NTB on Sunday night.

On Sunday morning, Bystrøm said that the danger that the masts could continue to fall over meant that it was not possible to repair the damage for the time being.

“This is a very demanding situation,” Bystrøm emphasized.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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