Arwen aftermath: Military arrive in North East to provide relief

Military assistance is on its way to Northumberland after the county council declared a major incident.

County Durham has already seen the army helping residents who have been without power for a week following Storm Arwen.

John Hewitt, Chair of the Local Resilience Forum’s Strategic Co-ordinating Group, said: “We are doing everything we can to support residents who are affected by the disruption to power supplies, from providing emergency supplies to simply checking in to make sure everything is ok."

A week on from Arwen: the latest numbers

The network also says welfare support is continuing with distribution of hot food, drinks and winter warmer packs being delivered to those in need.

In a statement, Northern Powergrid said "major outreach to customers [will continue] on the ground, including door-knocking in Weardale and talking directly to every customer still affected."

Over the past few days, representatives from the council, Durham and County Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Durham Constabulary, the Mountain Rescue Service, Northumbrian Water and Northern Powergrid have been providing information on the support available, along with bottled water and phone-charging points.

Conservative MP for North West Durham Richard Holden said he had spoken to defence minister James Heappey who had confirmed around 100 troops are being deployed to the area “and will be on the ground in north east England from tomorrow”.

Paul Glendinning, Executive Director at Northern Powergrid, said: “Our top priorities are reconnecting our customers as soon as possible, keeping them informed to the best of our abilities and doing everything we can to support the wider effort in our communities aimed at helping those who need us the most.

“We’re sorry for the hardship and disruption our customers are experiencing. In addition to our restoration efforts and work to keep customers informed, we’ve suspended all other non-essential activities across our business to deploy teams of people and our support vehicles to work with the emergency services, local resilience teams and partners in our communities as part of the wider response to this emergency. We have also made financial and practical assistance available to help people through this challenging situation.

Northern Powergrid continues to remind customers to report any damaged cables or equipment by calling 105 and not approach the area as equipment may still be live.

  • Latest help and information from Durham County Council:

Anyone who is aware of an older or vulnerable person who needs help, can contact ourcustomer services team on 03000 26 0000. This number is available 24 hours, with out ofhours emergency support available through our Care Connect team.

A map showing updated information on current power cuts is available here.

A list of community venues offering support can be found here.

More rain, sleet and snow fell in south-western parts of the UK on Thursday, while wintry showers have affected the North and East.

The Met Office said gales will ease along the North Sea coast.