Storm Ciarán: SSEN issues yellow alert as it prepares for disruption to power supplies

Engineers repair power cables that were brought down in Storm Eunice, 2022. Credit: PA

People in the South East are being warned of some disruption to power supplies as Storm Ciarán moves in.

Power distributor, SSEN, which supplies homes in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, parts of Dorset and Sussex and the Isle of Wight, said it was preparing for damage to its network.

Contingency plans have been activated it said, which means it has brought in additional teams - including some from Scotland, which it also supplies.

SSEN’s latest weather model shows a likelihood of southerly and south-westerly gusts of up to 70mph along the Hampshire and Sussex coast overnight on Wednesday and throughout the day on Thursday, with inland gusts of up to 60mph in Dorset.

Gusts in excess of 50mph are possible in Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. The winds will be accompanied by persistent, heavy rain, the company said.

The company is recommending members of the public prepare for any disruption.

It says households should save its '105' emergency number in their phones, so any loss of supply or damage to the network can be reported as quickly as possible.

It also recommends customers download its Power Track app.

SSEN is proactively contacting more than 250,000 people on its priority services list it said, and is organising welfare provision where needed.

In a statement it said: "The decision to move to Yellow Alert status comes as a result of the increasing certainty about the storm’s duration and route, and the potential it has to cause damage to the electricity network. "SSEN has been monitoring this weather system for several days, and is now activating its well-rehearsed contingency plans, bringing in additional teams to deal with any damage to the network and subsequent faults, which may impact customers’ power supplies."These additional teams, aided by colleagues from SSEN’s north of Scotland distribution area and contractor partners, will respond to faults and carry out repairs quickly and safely.  Teams answering customers’ queries over the phone are being bolstered, and SSEN is already calling its most vulnerable customers to offer them help and advice. 

"In total, more than 250,000 customers who are on the Priority Service Register will be contacted ahead of the storm. SSEN is also organising for welfare provisions to be put in place for affected areas."

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