Specialist Engineers from Bury St Edmunds help restore power in North Yorkshire following Storm Arwen

UK Power Networks has sent 236 specialist engineers to help restore power to tens of thousands of people still without electricity as a result of Storm Arwen.

The staff and contractor teams mainly from across the South East and the East of England, travelled north during Saturday and Sunday, to destinations including Northumberland and the Pennines as part of the industry’s national collaboration in such incidents. The company is also providing call centre services to help answer customers’ calls from other regions.

Among those working in the North Yorkshire snow is a team based in Bury St Edmunds led by engineer Barney Farrell, who said: “Everyone is incredibly welcoming and understanding despite being without power for several days.” The teams job is to replace poles and overhead cables brought down by the weight of ice.

UK Power Networks team working in the north to get the power back on.

UK Power Networks had extra teams ready over the weekend to prepare for yellow weather warnings of wind, sleet and snow, but the full force of the weather hit further north on Friday into Saturday. Destructive 100mph winds brought down trees and power lines across the North East and Scotland, made roads impassable and cut off power supplies to around one million properties in one of the biggest storms to hit the UK for years.

Bill D’Albertanson, emergency planning manager at UK Power Networks, said: “We work in close contact with industry colleagues to share the available staff when we can, to help repair their networks and restore the power to people who are without electricity.

“This is part of a collective response to the significant challenge other parts of the UK have experienced during Storm Arwen, and we know first-hand what a difference extra help makes at such a difficult time. We will continue to make our resources available this week until customers’ power has been restored.”

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s major incident manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to UK Power Networks and its teams for the level of support they have provided to us. Their teams arrived promptly and have come fully equipped to help us tackle the major amount of overhead line repair work we have to complete to restore power to our customers. This will bolster the significant response we already have in place and further support our teams, who continue to work tirelessly to restore power for our customers who are still without power due to Storm Arwen.

“The impact from the storm has been one of the worst we’ve experienced in the last 20 years. Our teams will work in partnership, through this vital industry mutual aid support arrangement, to ensure we continue to do all we can to support our customers and get them back on supply safely and as soon as we can. We will not stop until all our customers are restored, and our network is returned to full strength.”