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PM ‘concerned’ as thousands still left without power a week after Storm Arwen

·4 min read
(PA) (PA Wire)
(PA) (PA Wire)

Thousands of households are still without power more than a week after Storm Arwen as the Prime Minister said he is “concerned” about the number still affected.

Around 4,700 homes across northern England and Scotland were still without supply as of Saturday afternoon – more than a week after the storm hit on November 26, industry body the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said.

On Saturday, Boris Johnson said he had held calls with those leading the response to Storm Arwen, adding the Government is ready to further support the recovery work “in any way we can”.

Taking to Twitter, he said: “I am grateful for the tireless efforts of the emergency teams and volunteers on the ground but remain concerned that more than 4,700 households are still without power.

“I reiterated to those I spoke to that the Government is ready to further support their work in any way we can.”

With work still ongoing to restore power, forecasters predict low temperatures of between 4C (39F) and 6C (43F) accompanied by some gale-force winds for the region over the coming days.

The Met Office expects to see “unsettled” weather, with snow in the Cairngorms and Northern Pennines overnight on Saturday before turning drier and less windy into Sunday.

(ENA/PA) (PA Media)
(ENA/PA) (PA Media)

But the temporary relief will end on Monday when a band of rain and snow is expected, along with more wind, in the second half of the day.

From Tuesday, the UK is set to see continued wind, rain, and snow – with a likelihood of more strong winds, although not as strong as Arwen, into Wednesday.

Simon Partridge, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “In terms of the process of reconnecting power supplies and getting to remote areas, it’s not helpful – probably tomorrow being the best day and probably the first half of Tuesday as well, some decent conditions.

“Other than that, a fair bit of rain, some hill snow, and some reasonably strong winds – certainly aiding to slow down the process of reconnecting supplies and getting to the more remote locations to clear trees and so forth.

“It’s certainly not ideal, and the higher locations certainly will be seeing some more snow in the coming days.”

The Met Office has also issued yellow weather warnings for rain in parts of the north east of England and a yellow warning for snow for parts of the south east of Scotland on overnight from Saturday into Sunday.

The long delays have prompted energy regulator Ofgem to warn it will take enforcement action against network companies which failed to restore power to customers quickly enough following the storm.

It has also agreed with firms to lift the £700 cap on compensation which could be given to customers.

The change will allow those affected to claim £70 for each 12-hour period they are left without power, after an initial £70 for the first 48 hours.

Royal Marines of 45 Command visiting remote communities and vulnerable households (MoD) (PA Media)
Royal Marines of 45 Command visiting remote communities and vulnerable households (MoD) (PA Media)

The Ministry of Defence announced on Saturday morning 297 personnel from the British Army and Royal Marines were deployed to support civil authorities and were conducting door-to-door checks on vulnerable people in their homes and providing reassurance to local communities.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said on Saturday evening just 30 properties were left without power overnight after weather conditions slowed the work of engineers.

Northern Powergrid announced on Saturday afternoon that 3,300 customers, of the 240,000 who lost power, are yet to be connected.

Electricity North West, which provides energy for an area between the Scottish border and Stockport, said at around 8pm on Saturday that fewer than 120 of its customers were without power.

Meanwhile, SP Energy Networks said on Thursday it had restored power to all 200,000 customers who were disconnected.

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