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48-hour wait for all Storm Gerrit power cuts to be resolved, customers warned

By Philip Murray

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Some power cuts may take 48 hours to resolve.
Some power cuts may take 48 hours to resolve.

Almost 8000 homes across Scotland were still without power shortly before lunch on Thursday as engineers battled to repair the damage caused by Storm Gerrit.

Of the 7700 homes reported to be without power at 11am, more than 800 of them were in the Highland Council area.

The number of homes and businesses affected across Scotland was down from a peak of more than 40,000 at the height of the storm, but dozens of separate outages were still being tackled at the time of writing.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has warned that the widespread nature of the damage, and the knock-on effects of Storm Gerrit on access roads mean that "full network restoration will take time".

It added that it is "expected the majority of homes will be reconnected today, but some customers in rural areas will be off supply for up to 48 hours", with the worst affected likely to be in the north-east due to the later impact of the storm in those areas.

Related: UPDATE: 1142 SSEN customers without power in Drumnadrochit with dozens more affected around Loch Ness

Related: PICTURES: Scale of Storm Gerrit tree fall damage to A82 highlighted by Bear Scotland

Related: 'Why was Storm Gerrit emergency not declared sooner?' asks Highland MSP

In response to the ongoing disruption, SSEN has set up welfare vans serving hot food and drink in areas where work to restore supplies is still ongoing.

In the Highlands, these include in the Riggs car park in Fort Augustus; the Burnfield car park in Burnfield Avenue, Grantown-on-Spey; and the car park beside the football pitch in Halkirk.

Andy Smith, Operations Director at SSEN Distribution, said: “Our teams continue to make really good progress in restoring power following the significant impact of Storm Gerrit. I know it’s caused problems for our customers, and I’m grateful to them for their patience. I’d like to reassure customers we’ve got every resource at our disposal out there, fixing faults on the network.

“Adverse conditions on the roads hampered our efforts last night, but thankfully conditions have improved this morning and we’re making progress with the work that needs to be done.

“But it will take time to complete all repairs. Some customers in rural areas where there are multiple points of damage, will be without power until Friday.

“Welfare provision is now available in a number of affected areas, and we’re speaking to our most vulnerable customers to offer them specific support. Anyone who may need additional help or advice should contact our dedicated teams on the power cut helpline, 105.”

As part of SSEN’s support package, customers who will be without power for more than 12 hours are entitled to £30 per person for every day without power, to cover the cost of food and drink. People should keep hold of their receipts and claim costs back at www.ssen.co.uk/stormclaim.

In addition, customers on our Priority Service Register can claim reasonable costs for alternative accommodation if it is expected they will be without power for over 24 hours. Support with booking accommodation can be provided if needed.

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