Humberside

Stormy weather could have stopped Withernsea's gas supply

Vans in Withernsea
Image caption Vulnerable customers are "a priority" said the supplier

Thousands of people in a seaside town have been left without a gas supply, possibly due to recent storms.

Services to the whole of Withernsea, East Yorkshire, failed at about 18:00 GMT on Saturday, power company Northern Gas Networks said.

Engineers are working to restore gas to 3,000 homes and businesses.

Mark Horsley, of Northern Gas Networks, said it was thought "water getting in" during adverse weather may have caused equipment to shut down.

Mr Horsley, the company's chief executive, said they had "flooded the area" with employees from across the north of England in order to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

Friday's high winds and tides caused some disruption in the area.

Vulnerable customers are being looked after "as a priority", the company said, and residents have been advised to turn off gas supplies at the main tap or next to the gas meter.

Withernsea is about 17 miles from Hull and has a population of more than 6,000. It includes a hospital and retirement homes.

'Four-cardigan day'

Alex Burkenshaw, senior carer at Queens Residential Home, said the 39 residents were a "hardy bunch".

"We are lucky as the home has one electric oven, so we can still cook meals," she said.

"The gas company has been and given us about 10 heaters so we have been able to warm all the lounges.

"It's more like a four-cardigan day for the residents."

Image caption An incident room has been set up in the town where heaters are being handed out

Withernsea resident Steve Medcalf criticised the lack of information from the gas company.

But he said "great community spirit" meant the town was "pulling together", with the supermarket and cafes helping out.

"It's cold, but I think everybody's in the same boat," he added.

Northern Gas Networks urged residents using electric heaters and hotplates to use electricity "with consideration" to avoid putting "excessive strain on the electricity network". It said it was working with Northern Powergrid to manage the situation.

An incident room has been set up on Hull Road playing fields, where heaters are being handed out.

Anyone who smells gas should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

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