Northern PowerGrid work over night to restore Storm Arwen damage

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Northern PowerGrid teams were working into the night as they continued their efforts to restore power to customers across the UK, in response to Storm Arwen

More than 100 extra engineers from UK Power Networks, Northern Ireland Electricity, and National Grid Electricity were inducted to bolster Northern PowerGrid’s response.

The network operator has now restored power to around 208,000 of the 240,000 customers affected.

Helicopter flights reveal scale of devastation

Additional helicopters were secured to support engineers on the ground and move materials.

The scale of damage in some locations is so extensive that in some cases, large sections of overhead lines will need to be rebuilt to restore supplies.

Where it can, Northern PowerGrid is deploying temporary fixes that get customers back on supply whilst its teams coordinate the necessary permanent repairs to get the region’s power network back to full strength.

Despite the efforts of its teams, there will still be many customers without power for another night – this comes as a concern, particularly with the current winter weather conditions.

‘The worst storm damage in 20 years’

Rod Gardner, Northern PowerGrid’s major incident manager, said: “Intelligence from our helicopter inspections has illustrated the scale of impact on our network. The impact from Storm Arwen has been one of the worst we’ve experienced in the last 20 years.

“Despite this we have restored more than 200,000 customers supplies and our dedicated teams will not stop until all customers are restored, and our network is returned to full strength.

“We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from other UK network companies, who have provided resource as part of the industry’s mutual support arrangements, which exist for extreme events like this.

“Our frontline teams and contractors will work in partnership with engineers from other parts of the UK, we have also organised additional customer service support to bolster our contact centre to help us keep customers updated.

“We continue to work closely with the region’s gas, water and rail network companies to coordinate with their teams and prioritise our work to help minimise the broader impact on the region.”

Customer support vehicles have been out and about in communities, supporting customers with access to hot water, drinks, mobile phone charging and winter warmer packs.

The network operator is continuing to work with the British Red Cross and multi-agency partners, as part of local resilience forums, to support the most vulnerable members in the worst affected communities.

Northern Powergrid is reinforcing the importance that people who spot any damaged cables or equipment must not approach the area as equipment may still be live and pose a risk of electrocution.

Power cut advice and tips:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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