Storm Eunice: Power restored to more than 170,000 homes in the wake of the 'most extreme and challenging conditions experienced'

POWER has been restored to more than 170,000 homes across the south hit by Storm Eunice, with the ‘most extreme and challenging conditions experienced’ in decades.

By yesterday evening (Feb 20) engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) had managed to fix power supply to 172,000 households – although 9,650 homes still remained cut off.

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.

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Storm Eunice: Engineers continue to battle to restore power to thousands of home...
Storm Eunice in Portsmouth on Friday 18th February 2022 Pictured: Storm Eunice in Southsea Picture: Habibur Rahman

While Portsmouth, Fareham, Havant and Gosport remained unscathed, areas north of Cowplain and around Petersfield, were still suffering from blackouts over the weekend – along with large parts of West Sussex, including Chichester, Pagham, Bognor Regis and Fishbourne.

Richard Gough, director of distribution system operations, 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. I would like to apologise to our customers for the continued disruption as our teams work around the clock to restore power.

‘I’d also like to recognise our teams in the field and in our control and customer centres, who are doing a brilliant job in very difficult conditions and stand ready to respond to the impact of Storm Franklin, while prioritising restoring customers who have been without power longest.

‘We fully appreciate the issues being faced by customers who have been without power since the start of Storm Eunice and as our teams work hard to reconnect the remaining homes, we are actively encouraging all customers who we expect to remain off supply for an extended period to take advantage of our enhanced welfare offer.’

SSEN customers concerned about an extended power cut are advised to make alternative arrangements to stay with family or friends where possible.

Where this is not an option and a customer has been without power since Friday and their estimated time of restoration is later than Sunday evening, SSEN is offering to reimburse all reasonable costs for arranging alternative accommodation.

The company has also been placing welfare vans in communities most affected by Storm Eunice offering free hot food and drink. These mobile units will move from location to location as power is restored and current locations are being regularly communicated via our website, social media and by local radio.

For these customers who have been without power since Friday and do not live in proximity to these vans or need to remain in your home due to circumstances such as mobility or Covid-19, they are offering to reimburse reasonable costs for an evening meal or takeaway, up to the value of £15 per person and up to a maximum of £60 per household.

Visit tinyurl.com/EuniceClaim.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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