Storm Arwen: Major incident declared in Northumberland

Credit: PA

A major incident has been declared in Northumberland due to the devastating impact caused by Storm Arwen.  

Northumberland County Council declared the major incident on Friday, December 3, over ongoing concerns for communities left without power - and in some cases without water - in the county understood to be the worst affected. 

It came a day after Durham County Council declared a major incident - a move which preceded a request for military assistance, which was granted on Friday morning.

Last Friday, November 26, Storm Arwen brought rain and gale force winds of up to 90mph to the area - affecting power lines and leaving nearly a quarter of a million Northern Powergrid customers disconnected from electricity supplies.

Seven days on, 4,000 homes in Northumberland were still without power.  

Daljit Lally, Chief Executive for Northumberland County Council, said: “We are extremely concerned for those residents in our communities who continue to be without power and in some cases water as well.  

“Whilst all agencies have and continue to work together to assist those affected in our communities and are doing all they can, we need more support. The damage caused to some power lines is devastating and we do not know how long this will continue for. 

Speaking with ITV News Tyne Tees, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed and cabinet member Anne-Marie Trevelyan welcomed the declaration but did not answer why it was not made sooner.

Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “Our staff and all our partners have worked non-stop over the past week, and I want to thank them as well as all our communities and volunteers for their brilliant efforts. 

“This was an unprecedented storm and I have seen first-hand and with great sadness the destruction the wind has caused to many parts of our beautiful county.

  • Our latest report on the situation in Northumberland by Tom Barton on Thursday.

Scott Dickinson, Leader of the Opposition, added: “I fully support the actions being taken to ensure that all agencies that need additional support get it, as well the thousands of residents left in dire need.  

Details of what additional support will be available were set to be discussed on Friday afternoon.