England

Power lines' overhead inspection

Electricity pylon
Image caption Power lines can be damaged by wind, snow or ice

Electricity engineers are to take to the skies to check overhead power lines across the north east of England.

Network distributor, CE Electric UK, will be carrying out patrols from Monday until 24 December.

Helicopters will fly just above the power lines, and farmers are advised to bring cattle or horses inside if the flight path crosses their land.

The aim of the exercise is to identify any damage or deterioration that could lead to power cuts if left unresolved.

Gary Bartholomew, from CE Electric UK, said: "Because the power lines are exposed to the elements, they are at risk from strong winds, ice and snow.

"The wind can lead to power cuts by causing the conductors to clash together or blow debris onto the lines, potentially bringing them down.

"If it's cold, the wind can also cause ice to build up on the lines, sometimes crippling them under the sheer weight.

"We're committed to keeping power cuts to an absolute minimum, whatever the weather, and that's why it's so important that we carry out regular inspections like these, to make sure that our network is in good condition."

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