Mildura Central shopping complex was forced to close at 2.30pm when a major blackout effected up to 2500 properties.

Initially the fault was said to be at Birdwoodton and that power would be restored at 3pm but soon afterwards the estimate was 4pm.

At that stage property owners had been contacted by Powercor to say it could be 7pm before power supplies were fully re-stored.  At that stage 1305 properties were still affected.

But shortly after 4.30pm electricity was restored to the whole black out area.

Mildura Central Centre Manager Leigh Fuller said that without power stores could not operate their tills and 80 percent of the centre was forced to close.

He said it appeared that the Target area was on a separate grid and still had power.

He said emergency generators had switched on at the Woolworths Supermarket but they produced only enough power to keep their refrigerators running.

“Our staff did a sweep of the darkened area of the centre and we were able to help customers still inside find an exit safely,” Mr Fuller said.

The residential area of 15th street west to the Walnut Avenue was also without power, along with residential areas behind the Mildura Central complex.