Sustained wind speeds of over 70mph were recorded across the north of Scotland from early afternoon yesterday, with gusts in excess of 90mph-100mph observed alongside significant rainfall, with wind speeds only starting to subside from the early hours of this morning.
The impact of Storm Arwen has resulted in significant damage to SSEN’s electricity network due to fallen trees, branches, and other wind-blown debris striking network infrastructure.
As of 9.30am, SSEN has experienced over 300 high voltage faults and its operational teams had successfully restored power to over 40,000 customers in extremely challenging conditions.
Around 75,000 customers current remain off supply, with the main areas affected being Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perthshire and the Moray Coast.
SSEN’s teams have been out since first light this morning to fully assess the extent of damage to its network and progress the restoration of customer supplies, with helicopter patrols to monitor the network for damage.
Multiple incidents of damage to network infrastructure have been experienced in the areas worst affected by yesterday’s storm, which will prolong restoration times for affected customers. Access to faults continues to prove very difficult due to fallen trees, closed roads and the aftermath of yesterday’s challenging weather conditions.
Welfare facilities are being deployed to key areas affected to offer customers hot food and drinks whilst they remain off supply, including MACBI Community Hub in Mintlaw.
Teams from SSEN’s Customer Contact Centre continue to proactively contact customers on its Priority Services Register (PSR) to keep them updated and to offer extra support where possible, with proactive contact made to over 120,000 PSR customers in advance of the storm.
SSEN is also working closely with local resilience partners to help coordinate its response and provide support to customers affected.
Mark Rough, Director of Customer Operations at SSEN, said: “The impact of Storm Arwen continues to be felt across much of the country and has resulted in significant damage to our network.
“Despite detailed preparations, the prolonged and severe nature of the weather continues to hamper efforts to restore supplies, with the high winds only subsiding from the early hours of this morning.
“We would like to apologise to customers who have experienced a loss of supply and would like to reassure them that our teams are doing all we can to prioritise fault restoration and carry out repairs at the earliest opportunity.”
SSEN is urging people to not approach any damage to its equipment and instead report it to SSEN by calling 105 or via its Power Track App, and engineers will investigate as soon as possible.
SSEN’s Priority Services Register (PSR) provides extra help and support during a power cut. Customers are eligible for SSEN's free priority services if they are deaf or hard of hearing, have a disability, live with children under five, are blind or partially sighted, have a chronic illness, use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity, are over 60 or temporarily need extra support.
To find out more about the PSR, click here or call 0800 294 3259.