Christmas food worth $10,000 lost in Paddington power outage

Less than a week from Christmas a fresh food store has lost at least $10,000 worth of stock after a power outage hit parts of Sydney's east on Thursday.

The outage lasted more than an hour and was caused by a fault on an underground cable, hitting up to 1500 homes and businesses across Paddington and Woollahra.

Tim Jenkins, manager of Paddington Fresh Foods on Oxford Street, said that while it could have been worse, the blow was substantial.

"We would have already lost about $10,000 in stock,’’ he said. “That's all our fish cases gone, all our barbecue chickens, which you can't sell once they hit a certain temperature.’’

He said up to  $100,000 of stock had been at risk.

"We even have the fridge room alarmed for a power outage because there is so much money involved. It's all been sealed but another hour and it would have been gone,’’ he said.

The fresh food store, which stocks fish, meat, fresh produce and flowers, has said that the first Ausgrid workers to visit the site said it may have been due to a surge because of all the extra air conditioning in use with the warmer weather.

"If this is a sign of how summer is going to be it's not good,’’ said Mr Jenkins.

However a spokesman for Ausgrid, David Mulally, said while this can sometimes be a factor after a number of days of extreme weather it was unlikely in this case.

"For the most part our networks are designed to cope with surges due to changing weather, but we certainly would not have seen use or peaks consistent with that for [Thursday's] temperatures", he said.

For a fresh food store electricity is at the top of the Christmas wishlist, and so cheers of relief were heard in the shop  as the power returned after a little over an hour.

"We've got at least 300 turkeys and 200 hams sitting in just one of our fridges.  At 120 bucks each that would have been a big loss", said Mr Jenkins.

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