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Sharing resources after stormy weather

Posted on 12 March 2015 10:55 AM by white3s

Thirty-four of our staff recently returned from Scotland where they helped repair damaged electricity networks after hurricane-force winds.

Under mutual aid arrangements in our industry – known as North Eastern Western Southern Area Consortium (NEWSAC) – we occasionally share skilled resources, such as linesmen and engineers, with other electricity distributors around Britain after severe weather.

This helps restore customers’ electricity supplies quicker after exceptionally bad weather. We know first-hand what a difference practical help makes at a difficult time as we’ve benefited from these arrangements ourselves.

Hurricane-force winds of over 100mph
Customers are often surprised to discover linesmen or engineers have travelled so far to help them. The staff and customers in Scotland appreciated our help and we certainly feel the same when they come to us. It demonstrates how our industry pulls together to get customers back on supply as quickly as possible after extreme weather conditions.

Hurricane-force winds of over 100mph caused lots of damage to the electricity network in Scotland, cutting off power supplies to tens of thousands of customers last week. There was a lot of tree damage and the weather conditions were poor for the engineers with powerful winds, snow, thunder, lightning and some occasional blue skies.

Long working days
They were long working days in difficult conditions, in a new area. However, our staff found it a positive experience working alongside staff in our profession from all over Britain. They were working in remote forests and countryside and carrying their gear to sites well off the beaten track. It’s physically tiring work, but they are used to that.

While our staff were in Scotland we were closely monitoring Storm Rachel and putting in place careful preparations. As part of those preparations we made sure all our staff returned to their usual bases in time to respond if the storm damaged our networks here and caused power cuts in the South East or East Anglia.

Restoring power
Although power to some customers was interrupted in the South East due to the high winds, the robust plans we had in place enabled us to restore power to all customers within an average time of less than two hours. No customers were without power for over 12 hours.

Power cut? Contact us!
1. Our LIVE power cut map: Use this to see if we're aware of your power cut and when we estimate your power will be back on. If your power cut is not showing on the map then please report your power cut using our online report it form

2. Twitter or Facebook: We will be posting updates 24 hours a day. Find us on twitter @UKPowerNetworks.

3. Call us 24 hours a day on 0800 31 63 105 or 0333 32 32 105 if calling from a mobile.

 


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