Northern Powergrid, the company that powers everyday life for 8 million people across 3.9 million homes and businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is prepared should the forecast thunderstorms affect its network and cause disruption for customers.
The Met Office has forecast localised torrential showers and lightning across the region from lunchtime today into the weekend, bringing a risk of electricity interruptions and damage to power lines from lightning strikes.
Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s head of network operations, said: "We’re ready to respond to the Met Office warnings of heavy rain and lightning and any potential impact on our network and customers. We’re closely tracking the weather and have extra teams in our centres and on the ground, ready to respond and restore power to customers if the pending weather affects our network.
"Customers can visit our website, northernpowergrid.com, and use our power cut map and reporting service to report a power cut or get updates about when their lights will be back on. Extra advisors will also be available at our local 24-hour contact centre to provide information, advice and support to our customers who call 105, the free power cut number.
“We’re encouraging our customers to take a moment to ensure they have added 105 and bookmarked our website on their smartphone and watched our informative videos about what to do if you have a power cut so they’re ready and know what to do if they’re power is affected by the weather.”
The network operator’s safe and COVID-19 secure working practices and robust operating protocols have meant that Northern Powergrid has been there for its customers 24/7, 365 days a year powering businesses, homes, hospitals and supermarkets during the peak of the pandemic and beyond into the next stages.
The company is asking that anyone who spots any damaged cables or other equipment not to approach the area and 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.