Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) remains at red alert status for its north of Scotland electricity network as its teams continue to respond to widespread and extensive damage to its network caused by Storm Arwen.
88,000 customer have since been restored due to heroic efforts from SSEN’s engineering teams, while a remaining of 32,000 customers are still without power, many have been off since Friday afternoon.
Mark Rough, Director of Customer Operations at SSEN, said: “Storm Arwen has resulted in some of the most significant and challenging conditions experienced the North of Scotland in decades, resulting in catastrophic damage to several overhead circuits with multiple instances of damage which need to be repaired before power can be restored. The damage caused by Storm Arwen is at least three times greater than we experienced from the Beast from the East storm in 2018, demonstrating the scale of challenge our teams have faced.
“We continue to make good progress carrying our repairs and restoring power and would once again like to thank our customers for their continued patience and understanding in what continues to be very challenging circumstances. Our teams will continue to work on faults that have already been resourced into the evening.
“The extent of damage means the repair work needed is complex and often requires lengthy clearance of access just to reach the problem areas, with substantial tree cutting and re-erection of overhead network infrastructure. As a result, unfortunately, significant numbers of customers will remain off supply overnight.
“We fully appreciate the challenging situation our customers are facing with another night without power and we would like to apologise again to everyone who has been impacted by Storm Arwen.
“We continue to work closely with our local resilience partners to prioritise support for our most vulnerable customers. We would encourage any customer with a vulnerability who has concerns about remaining off supply, or if you have concerns about a vulnerable relative or neighbour, please give our teams a call on 105.”
Many customers in rural areas have complained over the lack of communication in particular time responses to contact centres and their Priority Services systems. Upon investigation many communities are confused over welfare offerings such as hotel accommodation and power generation support and not being able to get in contact to report serious incidents with lengthy call waiting times, we’ve approached SSEN for comment.
However, SSEN said in a statement
“The following welfare facilities will continue to support customers who remain off supply and will continue to provide hot food and drinks up to 10pm tonight then again from 7am tomorrow, with teams from SSEN using 4X4 vehicles to deliver hot food and drinks to customers on SSEN’s Priority Services Register in some of the more remote and isolated communities:”
- Dalrulzion Hotel, Glenshee
- Kirriemuir, near Bon Scott Statue
- Fintry, Knockraich Farm
- Aboyne, The Green
- Cruden Bay, Main Street
- Strichen, Strichen Park
- Keith, Curry Contractors Yard (outskirts of Keith)
- Kintore, Primary School
- St Combs, Community Hall
- Turriff, Tesco car park
- Tarland, in the square
Rest centres have also been established, the following list can be seen below.
- Ballater at the Victoria and Albert Hall
- Eassie & Nevay Hall
- Fintry, Knockraich Farm
- Strathyre Primary School
- Aberfoyle Primary School
- Doune Primary School