Thousands of homes remain without power across the south, with Storm Franklin set to hit later

Richard Slee reports from Dorset on attempts to restore power to hundreds of homes.

Thousands of homes have been left without power

Thousands of homes in the Meridian region are still without power following Storm Eunice, and with the prospect of more bad weather to come.

Storm Franklin is set to strike the UK on Sunday just two days after Eunice destroyed buildings and left many homes in the southeast without electricity.

The worst of Storm Franklin will hit Ireland and the North West, but a yellow weather warning will be in place across the south from midday until 3pm

An identical wind warning has been issued for Monday.

Gusts of up to 122mph were recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight on Friday.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said it had restored power to over 148,000 homes, but 34,000 homes remain without power.

The operator covers parts of Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, West Sussex and Oxfordshire and drafted in over 400 workers from its Scottish operation to keep power running in the South.

John Ryall reports on the clear up operation in Kent and Sussex

Richard Gough, Director of Distribution System Operations, said:

“The hurricane-force winds of Storm Eunice have resulted in some of the most extreme and challenging conditions experienced in the south of England for decades, with significant impact on our overhead line network and multiple instances of damage in many areas.

“Our teams continue to work hard in very challenging conditions to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible with good progress made since winds subsided yesterday evening.  We expect to make continued good progress today, but restoration efforts will be extensive and, as we continue to uncover further damage, we expect the restoration of some localised faults to extend into early next week.

“We apologise to our customers for the continued disruption and reassure them that we are making every effort to restore their power, while giving them the best available information in order to make informed choices. We are also prioritising support for our most vulnerable customers, working closely with our local resilience partners."

A catamaran washed up along the seafront in Brighton, Sussex, after Storm Eunice brought damage and disruption. Credit: PA

Neighbouring operator, UK Power Networks, which covers the majority of Sussex, Kent, London and Buckinghamshire is also dealing with a multitude of power failures.

The operator said Storm Eunice caused a months worth of faults in a day, and has so far restored power to 563,400 properties.

40,100 properties do, however, remain without power across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

In a statement on its website it said:

"We have managed to restore more than 84% of those affected, by remote control so far. Now winds have subsided, engineers are working to locate, assess and begin repairing damage to restore supplies as quickly as possible. We will be prioritising damage affecting the largest groups of customers first. We are working hard to restore all supplies as quickly as possible, although this is a multi-day event."

Environment agencies have also issued hundreds of alerts for flooding across the UK, including along the south coast.