A POWER blackout caused rush-hour traffic chaos after street and traffic lights went out in Rawtenstall town centre.

More than 60 homes and businesses were left with-out electricity for almost 12 hours following an underground cable fault on Tuesday.

Street and traffic lights were hit by the power cut, causing gridlock in St Mary’s Way and New Hall Hey Road, and confusion on the roundabouts, bet-ween 11.50am and midn-ight.

Temporary traffic lights were put in to try to prev-ent any potential accidents, and relieve congestion.

Sara Winstone, 19, who lives in Bury Road, said: “I got in from work at about 6.30pm on Tuesday and I was in complete darkness, and everything in my freez- er had melted.

“I’d just been shopping and there was some meat in there. I hope it hasn’t all gone off.

“Everywhere outside was pitch black for two blocks.

“There was only Tesco and a few other shops I could see who still had lights on.

“The storage heaters I use to heat my flat take a day to warm up, so I’ve had no heat at all since the electricity went out.

“I went to my mum’s in Haslingden, but I spoke to my neighbour, a guy in his 20s, and he was in pitch black too.

“I don’t think he had any- where he could go to, poor man.”

A spokeswoman for Unit-ed Utilities said: “An und-erground cable fault caus- ed the loss of power to 62 customers at 11.50am on Tue- sday.

“Our engineers arrived on site and restored supp-lies to all customers at midnight the same day.

“We would like to apolog- ise for any inconvenience caused.

“If residents do exper-ience any issues with their power, they can call us on 0800 195 4141, or visit www. enwl.co.uk ”