Uk

Storm Arwen: Thousands left ‘exhausted’ as they endure fifth day without power

People in Scotland and northeast England have said they are “exhausted” as they endure a fifth day without power due to damage caused by Storm Arwen.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) confirmed that 45,000 of their UK customers remain without power as of 8am on Tuesday.

It confirmed the storm‘s damage has affected around one million homes and businesses across the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “extremely sympathetic to everybody who’s suffered these power outages”.

“It must be appalling,” he said. “I think a million homes lost their electricity and 950,000 have seen that electricity now restored, but clearly for 50,000 people that is not good enough.

“And I want to reassure everybody that we’re working as hard as we can to get power back to those homes.”

Earlier, calls for British troops to assist the engineers were made in the House of Commons, as ministers came under fire for failing to provide an update to MPs on the impact of the storm for a second successive day.

Gemma Douglas, from West Allerdean, Northumberland, said she had “never seen anything like this” in her area.

“It has been exhausting… trying to keep warm, cook, is hard work,” the 39-year-old told the PA news agency.

“Where we live, there is no back-up system – we’re on our own… so many people (nearby) are without any help and it’s scary and worrying.”

Indra Rampersad van Boeckel from Berwick-upon-Tweed has been without power since Friday evening and saw her shed crushed by a neighbouring tree.

“It’s heartbreaking really… it’s not easy even making a cup of tea on a stove,” the 42-year-old dentist told PA.

“The house is just a mess… we have burned our full stash of candles and had to get lots of extra supplies.”

Image:
A picture taken by Indra Rampersad van Boeckel who has been without power since Friday evening

The Met Office predicted a milder Tuesday but added that highs of 11C will be the warmest of the week for most.

A spokesperson for the ENA said: “Supporting and reconnecting customers is our absolute priority and our customer teams are working around the clock to contact customers and keep them informed.

“We are also working with other utilities, local authorities, emergency services and the British Red Cross to support this effort.”

A snow plough clears the A53 road between Leek and Buxton in Derbyshire after Storm Arwen
Image:
A snow plough clears the A53 in Derbyshire with forecasters predicting more cold weather

The Met Office’s Stephen Dixon said the weather will be “turning colder” from Wednesday due to a northerly wind, adding: “Winds will be especially high in exposed coastal areas in the north and northeast, with gusts in excess of 40mph expected.

“The cool conditions will see some snow fall in the high ground of the far north, and generally as sleet or rain in low ground.

“That theme continues into Thursday, with a band of rain moving in from the west later in the day.”

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