Storm Eunice: Engineers continue to battle to restore power to thousands of homes after storm batters Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH remains a bastion of power and light amid a large-scale blackout affecting thousands of homes in communities encircling the city.

Engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) have been battling through the weekend to restore power across the region.

It followed the arrival of Storm Eunice on Friday, which battered power networks, causing ‘1,000 points of damage’ on overhead lines – 100 times more than that of an average day.

Currently, the Portsmouth area remains relatively unscathed, with neighbouring communities in Fareham, Waterlooville, Havant, Gosport still with power.

Pictured: Storm Eunice in Southsea Picture: Habibur Rahman

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However, outside these districts and the picture is far different.

A huge swathe of parts north of Cowplain, around Petersfield, are still suffering from blackouts – along with large parts of West Sussex, including Chichester, Pagham, Bognor Regis and Fishbourne.

SSEN said that despite the battering to the network, engineers have made ‘good progress’ in fixing the damage. As of 11am the company had restored power to more than 164,000 homes, with 18,000 homes currently without supply.

Huge areas around Portsmouth are still dealing with blackouts and power cuts following Storm Eunice on Friday.

A spokesman for the company said: ‘Our teams will continue late into this evening to restore power to customers as quickly and as safely as possible, prioritising those faults that will restore as many customers as possible.’

However, SSEN has warned the repairs may slow amid the approach of a new weather system, Storm Franklin, on Monday.

Richard Gough, director of distribution system operations at SSEN, said: ‘The hurricane-force winds of Storm Eunice have resulted in some of the most extreme and challenging conditions experienced in the south of England for decades with significant impact on our overhead line network.

‘Our teams have worked extremely hard to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible to over 180,000 customers. We expect to make continued good progress tomorrow but with complex repairs and the risk of further weather impact, we expect the restoration of some localised faults to extend into early next week.

A rainbow spotted in Portsmouth during Storm Eunice, which caused widespread damage across the region Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We apologise to our customers for the continued disruption and reassure them that we are making every effort to restore their power, while giving them the best available information in order to make informed choices. We are also prioritising support for our most vulnerable customers, working closely with our local resilience partners.’

To report a power cut, call 105.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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