Storm Arwen: How climate change has influenced powergrid's response

Bosses at Northern Powergrid say climate change has influenced their plans for the future. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees.

A year after Storm Arwen left 240,000 homes and businesses without power, bosses at Northern Powergrid say climate change has influenced their plans for the future.

The storm wreaked havoc across the North East, left thousands without power and led to £12m being paid out by Northern Powergrid in compensation.

The company is now preparing for similar events in the future.

Jim Cardwell from Northern Powergrid told ITV News Tyne Tees: "With climate change we expect to see more of this turbulent weather coming through, so we have set up a £7.7m charitable foundation to assist people."

Northern Powergrid says it has now set aside £16m for responding to extreme weather events caused by a changing climate.

Mr Cardwell said: "What we're looking at is the impact of climate change and how we need to adapt in terms of where we target that investment to make sure that we're dealing with things like flood defences, for example.

"We are taking that responsibility seriously on a day-to-day, year in, year out basis."

The scale of the damage and the length of the storm last November meant they could not get helicopters into the sky to locate which parts of the network were damaged - meaning delays in restoring power to customers.

Some 11,000 people across the North East and North Yorkshire were cut off for at least five days, leading to the company having to pay out millions in compensation.

  • Report by Rachel Bullock

Northern Powergrid said it was "very sorry for the difficulties" customers faced during Storm Arwen.

The company said it has now invested more money into their communications systems, allowing customers to contact them "however they want to".

Emergency generators to get power back on quicker in similar future events have also been brought in by the firm.

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