A rare lightning storm in the capital area knocked out electricity and hot water in much of Reykjavík and West Iceland on Friday, RÚV reports. The storm also cut off electricity to a number of traffic lights in the city.
Not all areas of the capital were equally affected by the outages. In some areas, people only experienced lights flickering and dimming, followed by appliance outages around 4:00 pm. In the areas of Úlfarársdalur, Þormóðsdalur, and Hafravatn, however, electricity was completely out starting at 9:00 am and as of 5:00 pm, repairs had still not been made due to worsening weather conditions.
Shortly before 5:00 pm, utilities provider Veitur announced that storms and lightning had created a number of service disruptions due to damage to their electrical systems and voltage drops. Almost all of Veitur’s water pumps, from Grundafjörður on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to the town of Hvolsvöllur on the South coast, stopped functioning due to these disruptions. As of 5:00 pm, Veitur was hopeful that both hot and cold water would be running again within the hour, wherever the electricity was working. Some power outages were expected to continue in West Iceland.
Indeed, residents in a large part of West Iceland were without power for much of Friday. Reserve power sources were activated but locals were advised to use electricity sparingly until the evening and especially to try not to cook, i.e. use their stoves, from 3:00 – 7:00 pm.