STORM ARWEN: NORTHERN POWERGRID ENGINEERS RESTORE POWER TO 182,000 CUSTOMERS
As at 9.45pm
Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity distribution network across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, has restored power to 182,000 of around 240,000 customers whose power supplies have been affected by Storm Arwen.
The network operator’s teams remain focused on working to safely restore power to the 58,000 customers still affected as soon as it can.
While the storm has now passed through the region, the damage it has left behind is still there to repair. Northern Powergrid is currently responding to the remaining 700 of around 900 instances of damage.
Engineers are continuing to restore customers by switching electricity supplies, where possible, through alternative routes on its network and is ready to commence with repairs at first light.
The storm has caused varying degrees of damage across the whole of Northern Powergrid’s operating area, with the North East region taking the brunt of the storm. Fallen trees and flying debris have damaged electricity infrastructure in numerous locations and travel conditions remain challenging in some places.
Northern Powergrid’s Customer Support Vehicles have been deployed in communities, wherever possible, to support customers and it continues to work with the British Red Cross and multi-agency partners to support the most vulnerable members in the communities affected.
If weather conditions remain as forecasted, from first light the network operator will use its helicopter to spot damage locations and inform its teams on the ground.
Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s Major Incident Manager, said: “Today has been one of the most challenging we have seen in over a decade with our teams being unable to safely climb for over 24 hours, due to the storm force winds. Although this has been frustrating, safety of our people is paramount. We have focused our efforts on work which could be completed to assess the scale of damage and response needed to repair the network.
“Despite the challenges, we have been restoring supplies wherever we can and we will continue to work into the night to restore as many of the remaining customers as possible. However, if your supplies are not restored by midnight, you are likely to remain without power into tomorrow.
“We apologise and understand the impact this has on customers who are still without power, especially at this time of year. We are advising that if you are currently without power, you may wish to consider seeking alternative accommodation with family and friends. Also, if you know someone without power, consider if you can offer any support.”
“Our contact centre, social media and website remain extremely busy. At this point, we ask that you only contact us if you are at risk, so we can help keep our channels clear for those who may need us in an emergency.”
Northern Powergrid’s teams will continue to provide updates on its social media channels and is encouraging others to share their updates.
Its 24-hour contact centre continues to have additional advisors who are offering customers support and advice. Customers can also use their mobile to visit Northern Powergrid’s Twitter (@northpowergrid) and Facebook pages where the company will continue to provide regular updates and advice to customers and local communities.
Northern Powergrid is continuing to warn local people who spot any damaged cables or equipment not to approach the area as equipment may still be live and pose a risk of electrocution. Customers must contact the company immediately by calling 105.
Power cut advice and tips include:
- 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
- bookmark Northern Powergrid’s online power cut reporting service on your mobile devices – www.northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts and add 105, the free power cut, to mobile phone contact details
- have a charged mobile phone with important numbers, including Northern Powergrid’s contact details, easily accessible.
- 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 the event of an emergency.