Scottish storms: Power supplies still not restored to hundreds of homes

Engineers Image copyright SSE
Image caption Electricity has been restored to more than 120,000 customers since gale force winds hit

About 600 homes are still without power after the storms which have swept Scotland, according to Scottish Hydro.

Its power distribution division, SHEPD, said it had restored electricity to more than 120,000 customers since gale force winds hit power lines on Friday.

Areas where power has yet to be fully restored include the Western Isles and rural areas around Dingwall and Wick.

A Met Office yellow 'be aware' warning is in place for large parts of Scotland until Thursday morning.

Snow, freezing temperatures and high winds have been forecast for Scotland and also Northern Ireland and the north of England, Yorkshire and Humberside and the East Midlands.

The winds will be strongest in the far north and west, particularly in Shetland, on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, lightning strikes affected the power supply to 700 properties in Kirkwall in Orkney.

On top of 1,000 technical and support staff, SHEPD has drafted in 200 more engineers from elsewhere in the UK.

Image copyright Stuart McCrossan
Image caption The storm brought this tree down in Inverkip in Renfrewshire on Saturday

Engineers said they have been working in "treacherous and worsening conditions" over the weekend and on Monday.

The islands of Coll and Scalpay - where a handful of customers are waiting to be reconnected - are proving "extremely difficult to access".

Ferries, boats, aircraft and helicopters are all unable to travel to them due to the severe weather.

SHEPD said all of those customers have been spoken to, either by phone or face-to-face, to ensure they have contingency arrangements for heating and meals.

In the Western Isles, affected customers are being offered accommodation and meals in local hotels.

Through the night, 400 litres of soup was distributed to customers with the assistance of mountain rescue volunteers.

Teams have been working to make sure vulnerable people without power are catered for:

  • Customer call centre staff have spoken to about 800 customers considered a priority
  • Hot food and drinks have been provided and batteries for emergency alarms charged
  • Oil has been delivered to those with electrical generators
  • Accommodation has been given to medically-dependent and disabled customers and blankets provided
  • A total of 10,000 meals and 15,000 hot and cold drinks have been served by food businesses

More than 70 Red Cross volunteers throughout northern Scotland and the Western Isles worked around-the-clock at the weekend to help vulnerable people hit by storm power cuts.

They carried out welfare checks on scores of SHEPD customers identified as vulnerable by the power company.

Scottish Power, which operates further south in Scotland, has now reconnected all homes under its network.

Image copyright Cairngorm Mountain Rescue
Image caption Rescuers were called out to a fallen climber in blizzard conditions on Saturday

Train services have been returning to normal following earlier disruption.

However, due to overhead wire problems between Kilwinning and Largs, services from Glasgow Central to Largs and Ardrossan Harbour have been starting and terminating at Kilwinning.

Alternative transport has been put in place at Largs, Kilwinning and Ardrossan Harbour.

Full updates are available on the ScotRail website.

A Virgin Trains spokesman said there were reports of flooding affecting trains at Lockerbie.

A number of flood alerts and warnings remain in place for much of Scotland.

Warnings and alerts are also in place in England and Wales.

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne still has about two dozen services facing weather-related disruption or cancellation.

Image copyright Network Rail Scotland
Image caption Railway lines will be inspected for storm-related damage
Image copyright SHEPD
Image caption Fallen trees posed problems for engineers at Balmaha near Loch Lomond
Image copyright karen robb
Image caption Snow and ice have also been causing problems on the roads in some areas of the country

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Image copyright PA

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