Power Outage In Chiba Prefecture Continues

Power outage in Chiba Prefecture continues

Efforts to restore electricity to parts of Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo that were left in the dark this week after a powerful typhoon continue. But for many people, it could be two weeks or more before power is fully restored. About 140,000 households are still without electricity.

Members of Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force have been busy clearing roads.

They're using chainsaws to hack through trees that came down in the storm, ripping down electrical wiring in the process.

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Capt. Yukio Takenaka says, "I'm sure that as time passes, the residents will have additional needs. We'll definitely take care of them."

The drawn-out power outage is already having a serious impact on farming.

Greenhouses used to cultivate flowers suffered serious damage. But that's not all.

A farmer says, "We couldn't water the flowers because of the power outage. The flowers are no longer fit for sale."

The farmer says he has already discarded more than 20,000 plants since he was unable to use the watering system that works on an electric pump.

Prefectural officials estimate that the typhoon caused about 170 million dollars in damage to farming facilities and produce.

The blackout has also caused some unexpected problems.

An elderly care facility has been using an in-house power generator to run medical devices.

But on Tuesday, one of its oxygen concentrators, used to help people with breathing problems, broke down.

It appears that extended use of the emergency generator was to blame.

The facility has since been provided with power-supply vehicles, and now has stable electricity.

More than 1,200 houses in the prefecture were damaged by the typhoon.

Residents are bracing for more rain as heavy downpours are in the forecast from Sunday night to Monday.