Storm Arwen: Thousands still without power as response continues

30/11/21. A power line brought down by Storm Arwen. Electricity North West
Storm Arwen has brought many issues to the power supply. Credit: Electricity North West

Thousands of homes across southern Scotland and in Cumbria remain without power after Storm Arwen battered the region over the weekend.

In Cumbria, about 6,500 properties continue to be without power, with supplier Electricity North West mobilising teams around the clock to repair the network and restore power.

Because the damage is so widespread, some properties may be without power for a few more days yet, according to the company.

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings in the ITV Border region and surrounding areas, due to melting snow and heavy rainfall.

These cover:

  • River Eden

  • Upper River Eden (Appleby)

  • River Esk

  • Rivers Duddon, Crake and Mill Beck

  • We spoke to residents in Nenthead, Cumbria, who have been without power since Friday

Meanwhile, in southern Scotland, about 2,000 properties remain off supply in the Borders and 300 across Dumfries & Galloway. Berwick upon Tweed, in Northumberland, remains the worst affected, with around 500 off in that area alone.

Many power lines were brought down by Storm Arwen. Credit: ITV Border

Local authorities are continuing to offer help to anyone affected by outages and engineers are at work on both sides of the border restoring electricity to homes and businesses.

Many smaller roads are still treacherous and motorists have been urged to use caution.

In the Scottish Borders, the council is providing hot meals in Duns Primary School until 8pm and has opened a food truck in Food Truck, Kingsmeadows Road Car Park, Peebles and a Salvatiuon Army food truck is also in place at Cross Hill in Chirnside. A hub is also in place in Berwick at the Salvation Army hall for anyone in the Borders or North Northumberland without power.

The authority has also urged anyone who needs food and drink to contact their local community assistance hub by calling 0300 1001800.

The council has also produced a list of communities it believes are without power:

  • Ayton (partial)

  • Lamberton

  • Peelwalls

  • Borthwick

  • Lower Burnmouth

  • Polwarth

  • Chirnside

  • Midlem

  • Reston and surrounding area

  • Surrounds of Cockburnspath

  • Mordington

  • Ruecastle

  • Ettrickbridge (partial)

  • Nisbet

  • St Mary’s Loch/Cappercleuch/Megget

  • Foulden

  • Area north of Kielder

  • Upper Teviothead

  • Surrounds of Grantshouse

  • Oxton (partial)

  • Yarrow Valley

A spokesperson for the council said: "The council’s response has been hampered by a continued lack of information from Scottish Power Energy Networks regarding the exact locations of those still without power and estimated times of when supplies will be restored."

In response, a spokesperson for Scottish Power Energy Networks said: “Our teams on the ground are working tirelessly to reconnect power as quickly and as safely as possible to those who are still off supply. We apologise to all of our customers who have been affected by the damage, we understand the stress and inconvenience this has caused many households and we appreciate everyone’s patience whilst we continue to try to resolve the ongoing issues on the power network.

 “Over the weekend, Storm Arwen brought winds of over 90mph and, as a result, that has caused some of the worst damage we have experienced in over 15 years and far worse than the previous ‘Beast from the East’ weather event.

The spokesperson said the company was contacting its vulnerable customers who were on its priority services register and was answering calls from vulnerable people within an average of two minutes but that it was taking longer than normal to provide call-backs.

South of the border, Electricity North West are running food vans in Cumbria. These are located in Alston, Ambleside, Backbarrow, Cartnem, Coniston, Kendal and Old Hutton. It has also set up respite centres in Ambleside, Bolton-by-Bowland and Coniston.

The company has warned that some people may be without power for some time.

She added that the company was encouraging its customers without power "to make alternative arrangements where possible and we are continuing to proactively reach out to our customers who may be in particularly vulnerable circumstances".

  • Boris Johnson spoke on the Storm Arwen recovery at his press conference tonight

Cumbria County Council confirmed that 180 trees had been cleared by its workers following the storm.

Storm damage has caused the cancellation of rail services between Carlisle and Skipton.

There are still some roads across our region which have been affected by the weather. For details of issues in the Borders click here, for Cumbria click here and for Dumfries and Galloway, click here.