Storm Arwen: Third night of no power for thousandson November 29, 2021 at 8:44 am

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The north east of Scotland remains the worst hit, with all schools in Aberdeenshire closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Power line down in Ballater

Image source, SSEN

Thousands of people are facing a fourth day without power in the wake of Storm Arwen.

The north east of Scotland remains the worst hit, with police declaring a major incident in the area due the widespread disruption.

All schools in Aberdeenshire will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, and there will also be no vaccination clinics in the area on Monday.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said recovery would be longer than expected.

Energy provider SSEN said the storm had caused “catastrophic damage”, three times greater than that caused by the Beast from the East in 2018.

The firm warned there could potentially still be pockets of Aberdeenshire without power into Wednesday.

In some areas hot food and drinks are being supplied to people, many of whom have been without electricity since Friday afternoon.

In Braemar, a rest centre has been set up.

Areas of Moray, Angus, Perthshire and the Highland were affected too.

More than 1,000 households across Dumfries and Galloway also spent a third night without power, the majority in outlying areas.

SP Energy Networks – which covers central and southern Scotland – said engineers have been working round the clock to restore supplies.

Gusts of 100 miles per hour, snow, ice combined to cause damage and disruption.

Aberdeenshire Council chief executive Jim Savege told the BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland it had been a “pretty tough” time for the area.

On schools being closed on Monday and Tuesday, he said: “We took the decision yesterday to make those closures so that we could go and check all of our schools today.”

He said there “more hands to the pump” after the major incident was declared on Saturday.

Mr Swinney chaired a meeting of the Scottish government’s Resilience Room (SGoRR).

He said: “The scale of the damage caused by Storm Arwen is worse than we first feared and as a result our recovery will take longer than anticipated.

“We know this will create significant challenges for communities and households still affected by the storm’s impacts and I want to reassure them we are doing everything we can, liaising with local resilience partnerships, to focus efforts and resources.”

food stall

Image source, Cafe83

Mark Rough, director of customer operations at SSEN, said: “Storm Arwen has resulted in some of the most significant and challenging conditions experienced the north of Scotland in decades, resulting in catastrophic damage to several overhead circuits with multiple instances of damage which need to be repaired before power can be restored.

“The damage caused by Storm Arwen is at least three times greater than we experienced from the Beast from the East storm in 2018, demonstrating the scale of challenge our teams have faced.”

Scottish Water has distributed bottled water across some areas of Aberdeenshire.

Ch Supt George Macdonald of Police Scotland’s north east division said a major incident was declared due to the scale of the power outages and the impact it was having on people.

In the Aberdeenshire village of Kemnay a local café took hot drinks, soup and mince pies to a nearby care home.

“The power’s been off since four o’clock on Friday,” said Andy Hutcheon, manager of Cafe 83.

“Many of the care home residents are our customers and they’ve been huddled in the reception trying to stay warm. They were delighted to see us.”

The café also set up a barbeque outside for any other locals who needed a drink or food

“There’s no heating and no-one has a phone signal – so it’s been pretty dire,” he added

Across the UK, three men were killed by falling trees during the storm, which triggered the Met Office’s highest red level storm warning.

The 35-year-old driver of a pick-up truck was fatally injured on Friday afternoon in Aberdeenshire.

Arwen is the first of the Met Office’s latest list of named storms this winter.

The last red warning in Scotland was in March 2018 during the storm which was dubbed the Beast from the East.

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