Northern Powergrid, the company that powers everyday life for 8 million people by delivering electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is ready should Storm Dennis cause damage and disruption to its network.
The Met Office has predicted a significant period of severe winds and persistent heavy rain across the region over the weekend bringing a risk of damage to power lines from windborne debris as well as flooding.
Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s head of network operations, said: "We’ve monitored the weather very closely over the last few days and have taken action to ensure we are ready for Storm Dennis. We have teams of extra engineers ready to monitor any flooding impacts, restore power and carry out repairs if there is damage to our network as a result of the severe weather conditions expected.
“We have extra network control engineers ready so we can quickly restore power supplies to customers by diverting electricity through alternative routes on our network where possible. Our dispatch teams are also ready to mobilise our frontline teams to carryout repair works.
“Our specialist access equipment and fleet of 4x4 vehicles are ready to assist should the forecasted rain make travel and site access difficult. We also have teams of arborists on standby to help with any fallen trees that may damage our network or need to be removed to enable repairs.
"Extra advisors will be available at our local 24-hour contact centre to provide information, advice and support to our customers who call 105, the free, three digit power cut number.
“Customers can visit our website, northernpowergrid.com, to use our power cut map and reporting service to quickly and easily report a power cut or get updates about when the lights will be back on.
“Our customer support vehicles are also prepped and ready to go out into our local communities to offer help on the ground to those who need it most.
“We’re urging our customers to take just a few minutes, before Storm Dennis hits, to add 105 and bookmark our website on their mobile phones so they are ready to use our services if they need to. We’re also encouraging people to watch our short and informative videos, which will help them know exactly what to do if they do have a power cut.”
The company is asking that anyone who spots any damaged cables or other equipment not to approach the area, but to report it immediately by calling 105.
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, 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 and some food and drink in your home that does not require electricity to heat or prepare it
- only call 999 in an emergency.