Storm Arwen a week on: Homes in Cumbria and Scottish Borders still without power

3/12/21. A transformer brought down by Storm Arwen in Ambleside, Cumbria. ITV
A fallen transformer in Ambleside. Credit: ITV Border

He Thousands of homes in our region remain without electricity as the clean-up from Storm Arwen - a week on.

In Cumbria, the latest figures state 1,800 homes are still without power, according to Electricity North West, with most of these in South Lakeland.

The company has told ITV Border that they are still working towards getting all power restored to customers by Friday evening (December 3). Reports of reconnection dates being as far as January 2 were circulated online through the supplier's website and a spokesperson has confirmed these were incorrect and published in error.

It has also confirmed that compensation will be paid to people who have been cut off and will contact those affected once power is restored. In addition, it is deploying more generators in Cumbria for disconnected homes.

Engineers in Appleby. Credit: Electricity North West

She added: "We are working hard to keep our website updated with best estimates of our restoration times for the majority of the larger faults. Although these faults sometimes mask the impact of smaller faults further down the line, the information on the website is always the best available at the time."

Respite centres are in several locations, for a full list click here.

Accommodation is being provided in Ulverston's YMCA.

Electricity North West has also said that short power cuts will happen as generators are removed and people are switched back to the main network. For anyone whose power goes off again after having been restored, the company has asked them to wait 30 minutes before making a helpline call.

Please also check your trip switches and help neighbours to check theirs if needed.

Storm Arwen caused damage in the Scottish Borders. Credit: ITV Border

North of the Border, SP Energy Networks has said, in the Scottish Borders , it is working to reconnect "the last handful" of its customers.

A spokesperson added: "We're really sorry again to everyone affected by the damage to the power network caused by the storm, and appreciate everyone's patience and support whilst our teams work hard amid challenging conditions to restore supplies quickly and safely."

The company has said it will put updates on its website, has offered generators to customers in need and will provide accommodation and hot food and drink where needed.

It has also confirmed it will offer refunds of £150 per household to anyone who was without power for two days or more. This will be in additions to its statutory compensation, administered by regulator Ofgen.

Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, said: “We are incredibly grateful to our customers for their patience as our engineers worked tirelessly to make repairs safely amid some continuing challenging weather conditions, but we also appreciate the worry and uncertainty over the length of time without power has brought to some customers.

He added: "While our early storm response was hampered by road access due to fallen trees and significant storm debris, we’ve had boots on the ground across our operating area endeavouring to get customers back on supply as quickly and as safely as possible.

 “I hope our customers can accept this additional gesture of goodwill, which will be made available before Christmas, and I’d personally like to thank everyone again for bearing with us at what has been a very challenging time.”

Scottish Borders Council will open Duns Primary School from midday-8pm to provide hot meals and drinks.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: "The latest estimate from Scottish Power Energy Networks is that there are now potentially 500 properties who remain without power. They have advised that it is proving necessary at times to disconnect some additional homes to enable others to be reconnected which hopefully means that some disconnections are only temporary.

"We continue to liaise with them regarding the exact locations of those still to be reconnected."

Scottish Borders Council leader Mark Rowley. Credit: SBC

Councillor Mark Rowley, leader of Scottish Borders Council, added: “I would like to thank all those who have been working tirelessly since last Friday to support our communities affected by the significant damage and power cuts caused by Storm Arwen.

 “That has had to happen alongside our normal arrangements in terms of providing social care and social work services, and in addition to significant winter maintenance across our road network due to ice and snow."

He also paid tribute to members of the authority's resilient community groups. As well as praising the work of SP Energy Neetworks, he also said there had been challenges in terms of communication between the supplier and the council and said there needed to be a review into how this happens in the future.

Power has been restored completely in Dumfries and Galloway.

Last night, it was announced the army will be drafted in to help residents in northern Scotland and North East England.

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.

Many Rights of Way have been affected by damaged trees and are still being assessed. People have been advised to take extra care around trees and comply with route guidance and local signage.

The public are also asked to take extra care when driving on some of the less used routes as there may be fallen trees and debris that hasn’t yet been reported and removed. To report a problem, contact the relevant local authority.