Storm Arwen review shows 'unacceptably long' response times and power cuts

A review has been released into how Storm Arwen was dealt with Credit: PA

A review into Storm Arwen has revealed wait times and power cuts were "unacceptably long".

A report has been released by the government looking into the one million customers who were left with electricity issues as a result, including thousands in Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

It found 83% of people's power was restored within 24 hours but the remainder experienced up to 11 days of disruption.

Storm Arwen hit the UK on 26 November 2021, which brought winds of 100mph that uprooted trees, damaging power lines and cutting the electricity supply in more than 200,000 homes.

The investigation was launched to identify lessons for the management of future power failures.

The report says: "Storm Arwen brought significant and widespread severe weather to the UK, including exceptionally high windspeeds, icy conditions, and deep snow.

"As a result, just under 1 million households experienced power cuts, 59,101 of whom were without power for over 48 hours and 3,032 for a week or more.

"Storm Arwen was the worst storm in 10 years in terms of the combination of wind direction, speed and temperature."

It was found that wait times for some customers to contact their network operator were "unacceptably high" as well as recommending more needs to be done to manage customer communications effectively during severe events to allow customers to make informed decisions about their welfare.

Almost 90% of those affected received compensation payments by January 24

An unusual northerly wind direction was identified as putting the network at more risk with recommendations being made to network operators that they should better account for wind direction in future instances.

The report acknowledges the "unacceptably long" power cuts, especially to those in rural areas with new strategies recommended to reduce the length of time customers remain off power supply.

New processes should be established according to the document which will ensure payment of compensation without any delay.

Almost 90% of those affected received compensation payments by 24 January with the timeliness of payments one of the main focuses of the review.