Power surge leaves many with losses

Nicole SalmeriSouth Western Times
Eaton residents Tony and Jenny Hynes have been forced to cook on a camp oven after their stove was ruined in the electrical surge in April.
Camera IconEaton residents Tony and Jenny Hynes have been forced to cook on a camp oven after their stove was ruined in the electrical surge in April. Credit: Nicole Salmeri

A string of homeowners in Eaton were shocked after a power surge hit 20 homes in April, damaging thousands of dollars worth of household appliances and leaving families out of pocket.

A contractor truck struck a power pole sending additional voltage down the powerlines and frying many household appliances — causing thousands of dollars damage.

Resident Tony Hynes said he was passed on to the contractor’s insurance company and has been struggling to get answers.

“We kept ringing and ringing, over and over, trying to get some sort of resolution and they just didn’t want to know about it,” Mr Hynes said.

“I was told so many times by the girl on the phone (because that’s really all we got to speak to) not to worry and that it’s all going to be sorted,

“It was the week before Easter and it’s only been in the last two weeks that I finally gave up and I’ve had to go my own insurance company with whom I’ve got a $2000 excess, so I’ve had to pay that out of my own money too,” Mr Hynes said.

Mr Hynes’ wife Jenny said the last three months had been tough.

“It’s the cost of your weekly living, we’ve had no fridge and no stove, since April and we are living on a day-to-day basis,” Mrs Hynes said.

“Every time we needed anything we had to go to the shops because we didn’t have a fridge.

“We had to borrow a small bar fridge, so no freezer space and we’ve been cooking from our camp stove, so we have basically been camping in our own home.”

Another Eaton resident Kylie Pitman has also been left out of pocket more than $4000 after the contractor’s insurance company offered less than 50 per cent of the damage cost.

“I have two kids and haven’t had a heater since April and they have shown no compassion,” she said.

The insurance company Mr Hynes spoke to declined to comment.

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