By Laura Kemp • 02 December 2021 • 17:05
The armed forces are being deployed to parts of Scotland that are still without power after Storm Arwen caused “extensive and catastrophic” damage.
Armed forces minister James Heappey said that 134 soldiers and marines will be deployed in the Grampian area and will attempt to assist around 4,000 homes.
The soldiers will be working in teams of 10 and will be offering reassurance and assistance in 12 villages that were cut off due to the storm.
Thousands still have no power after the storm caused “extensive and catastrophic” damage.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), which distributes power to 3.7 million homes in central southern England and the north of Scotland, said 3,100 people still do not have power.
Energy Networks Association said, however, that the total number of homes that still do not have power is 16,000 as of this afternoon, December 2, and 98 per cent of the one million who were affected have now been reconnected.
Speaking to Sky News, Paul Richardson, who lives in Bishop Auckland, said his family has not had power since Saturday, November 27.
He said: “We are a family of five and although the children are all adults they are still living at home.”
“Our youngest daughter Emily has Down Syndrome, this has many effects on her health one being that she is more susceptible to cold weather than you or I, so can easily feel the cold and pick up respiratory infections – not what you want in this day with COVID.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if Northern Powergrid invested in its network to make sure it is safe and secure rather than paying the people at the top a fortune and keeping their investors happy?”
Another left without power at home is Kelly Osborne, who lives in Chester le Street: “My physical health has been affected by the cold – its caused a chest infection alongside the stress of not knowing anything.”
The areas most affected are Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perthshire and Stirlingshire.
Aberdeenshire Council said: “Following an approach to the UK Government, 120 military personnel are headed to Aberdeenshire to support ongoing resilience efforts in the aftermath of Storm Arwen.”
“Troops will focus on welfare checks on the ground within communities still impacted by loss of power.”
Mark Rough, SSEN operations director, said: “Due to the extent of damage on the low voltage network, particularly to single premises, some customers in Aberdeenshire will regrettably remain off supply until Saturday and our teams will proactively contact those customers to offer whatever support is required.”
“I would like to reassure all customers still off supply that our teams are doing everything they can to restore power as quickly as possible and would once again like to apologise for everyone who has experienced a loss of supply as a result of Storm Arwen.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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