1. ITV Report

Storm Ophelia update: latest information

Red sun over Cilburn, Cumbria Photo: Declan Morland

Emergency services across Cumbria and Southern Scotland have been working through the night and this morning to deal with a number of incidents relating to the high winds of Storm Ophelia.

Winds have reached up to 70 mph across coastal areas causing disruption on both sides of the Borders.

Overnight, Cumbria was ranked the most windy place in the UK, with winds reaching up to 92 mph on Great Dun Fell.

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Following high-force winds, Cumbria Police received reports of fallen trees, roofs and debris on the roads, and of fallen overhead cables.

A number of roads became blocked and many across Cumbria are still experiencing delays.

Crews responded to 34 different incidents, mainly in the west of the county.

Winds tore a roof off a building in Whitehaven and a house in Seaton, and even ripped the heads off traffic lights.

High tides in combination with the wind also saw debris piled on some of Cumbria’s coastal routes.

A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said:

It’s been a wild night and our teams have worked incredibly hard to respond quickly to incidents and get roads cleared. We were well prepared yesterday and that paid off.

The clean-up will continue through the day so there is likely to be some local disruption, please give yourself extra times for journeys just in case and look out for further updates via our social media feeds.”

– Cumbria County Council

Police Scotland received nearly 200 calls overnight in relation to weather related incidents similar to those in Cumbria.

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A number of calls were also received about damage to buildings across the region, such as roofs being blown off in Castle Douglas and in Dumfries and scaffolding collapsing.

There are no reports of anyone being injured in the region.

Thousands of homes and properties also had their power cut, with some still waiting for the issue to be resolved.

Electrcity North West says Storm Ophelia cut power to around 18,000 properties, most of them in Cumbria, and 1,700 are still without electricity.

Power cuts across Cumbria Credit: ITV Border

The region’s power network operator has restored supplies to more than 16,000 properties throughout the night.

Power is expected to be restored to the following 1,700 properties by 4pm today.

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The Operations Director for Electricity North West, said:

Our engineers are working in extremely difficult conditions and they will work as quickly and safely as possible to repair the damage caused by ex-hurricane Ophelia and restore power to customers.

We are still monitoring the weather very closely and have drafted in extra engineers to help with the repairs.

We work hard throughout the year maintaining and upgrading the network, but unfortunately overhead power lines can be damaged by flying debris in high winds."

– Martin Deehan, Operations Director, Electricity North West

1,100 homes in Southern Scotland also remain without power and efforts are being made to restore power this afternoon.

Some residents in the Sorbie area may not have power before 4pm.

Electricity distributor SP Energy Networks has issued the following power cut safety advice:

  • Have the SP Energy Networks and the new national 105 helpline numbers close to hand - if you need to contact us, you have the number there and we can help you as soon as possible.
  • Store a battery powered torch - so you can use the torch to check on the fuse box and make your way around the house safely.
  • Keep your mobile charged - having your mobile phone charged means that you can give us a call on our helpline number or the free national 105 emergency hotline.
  • Avoid leaving your fridge or freezer open - your fridge and freezer should remain cold for a considerable amount of time when your power is off. However, it’s best to minimise the number of times you open the door.
  • Unplug powered equipment - you may forget about them when power is restored.
  • Join the priority services register - if electricity is crucial to your health (for instance, if you use medical equipment at home) or you have a child aged five or under, ask to be included on our Priority Services Register by calling 0330 1010 167.

In relation to the disruptions caused by Storm Ophelia, particularly electricity cuts, communities are asked to check on vulnerable neighbours.

Drivers are asked to only travel if essential and prepare for the unexpected.

Public transport delays are also expected throughout the day.