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NORTHERN POWERGRID RESTORES POWER TO MORE THAN 57,000 CUSTOMERS SINCE FREEZING RAIN HIT LATE SATURDAY

150415-engineerandvehicles.jpgUPDATE AS AT 9.30pm

Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the network that delivers power to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, has restored power to 57,000 customers since freezing rain hit from late Saturday.

Teams have worked tirelessly today and will continue to work into the night, where safe to do so, to restore power to the remaining 1,450 customers still affected.  Northern Powergrid is keeping any customers who may not have their power restored overnight fully updated through its 24/7 contact centre team, social media and its online power cut reporting service.

Increased temperatures have improved travelling conditions in many areas however freezing rain and thawing snow has made working conditions and access challenging in a number of locations.  The use of 4x4s and specialist access equipment, supported by help from local farmers, has continued to be welcome in assisting the electricity distributor’s response.

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s head of network operations, said: "We have successfully restored power to the vast majority of our customers affected by the weather since Saturday. We are focused on supporting the remaining 1,450 customers and getting their power back on safely and as quickly as we can.

"The impact of the severe weather over recent days has been challenging for both our customers and our people. We’re grateful for the patience and understanding shown by our customers – and for some of the kind words on social media about the work our teams have carried out in their community.  We are also grateful for the relentless commitment by our people to support our customers and their professional work in some of the most difficult weather conditions we have seen for a long time.”

The electricity distributor will continue to provide updates online, through social media (Facebook and Twitter @NorthPowergrid) and through 105 – the free power cut number.

Prior to calling 105, Northern Powergrid is encouraging customers to please check their trip switch. If the main trip switch is off or pointing downwards, customers are advised to turn it back to the on position. If the main switch goes straight back to the off position this indicates an internal fault in the customer’s property and they should seek help from a qualified local electrician as it is not a Northern Powergrid network related fault.

If the main trip switch is on and stays in the on position, and there is still no supply to the property, customers should report their power cut to Northern Powergrid.

The electricity distribution company, which manages a network of 63,000 substations and more than 60,000 miles of overhead power lines and underground cables, will continue to deploy all available resources as necessary to coordinate repairs to the network.

Customers with a disability, medical condition or very young families, who may need greater assistance during a power cut and have signed up to the company’s Priority Services Register, are being kept updated as a priority. Anyone interested in joining the Priority Services Register can sign up online via Northern Powergrid’s website or call the electricity distributor’s Powergrid Care team 0800 169 2996.  The company has also used its Customer Support Vehicle and partnership with the British Red Cross, wherever possible, to assist communities where they have had a prolonged power cut.

Northern Powergrid is urging anyone who spots any damaged cables or other equipment not to approach the area, but to report it immediately by calling 105 the free, easy-to-remember national phone line which will route people to Northern Powergrid.

Power cut advice and tips include:

  • bookmark Northern Powergrid’s online power cut map and reporting service on your mobile devices – www.northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts
  • have a charged mobile phone with important numbers, including 105 the free national power cut phone line, easily accessible.
  • turn off electrical appliances at the socket (this is particularly important for heating or cooking appliances as your power could be restored at any time and potentially cause a safety hazard)
  • keep one light switched on so you know when power is restored
  • keep a battery or wind-up torch handy – they’re much safer than candles
  • check on your elderly or sick neighbours and relatives
  • ensure you have warm clothing and blankets handy if weather cold and some food and drink in your home that does not require electricity to heat or prepare it
  • only call 999 in an emergency.