Lightning strike could leave Northampton street residents without phone lines for a week

Elderly residents on a Northampton street could be without a vital lifeline until Sunday after a lightning strike destroyed phone lines.

Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 3:25 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:10 pm
Three quarters of the homes in Coppice Drive have been without a landline since Saturday.

Three quarters of the in Coppice Drive, Parklands, have been without a landline since Saturday (July 27) after storms struck Northampton.

Providers BT initially said the problem would be fixed by 5pm on Wednesday, August 1, but it now believes the damage is much worse than first thought.

A quarter of the homes are back online, but one resident told the Chron that the street's elderly population are struggling without a landline.

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Internet services are not thought to be affected.

Keith Warwick said: "The fault was reported on Sunday morning which gave an estimated repair target of 5pm (Wednesday).

"This has now passed and that many elderly and infirm residents without mobiles regard the BT line as their only available help."

A BT Openreach spokesman said the damage should be repaired by Sunday at the latest.

“We are working day and night to repair damage to the network that was caused by a lightning strike," he said.

"Engineers quickly fixed around a quarter of the faults reported to us, but the rest are more difficult than first thought.

"A cable needs replacing, such is the extent of the damage, and this requires temporary traffic lights so it can happen safely.

"We apologise to customers for the disruption, but we’re working as quickly as we can and we’re aiming to get services back to normal by Sunday at the very latest."