Battle continues to restore power to homes after 100mph winds

ScottishPower engineers at Llandre, Ceredigion
Image caption ScottishPower engineers have been working around the clock to restore electricity supplies

Power companies say engineers are continuing to work to reconnect thousands of Welsh homes still without electricity after Wednesday's storms.

As many as 18,000 properties in mid and north Wales are still without power, with ScottishPower drafting in 1,100 staff to help.

In south and west Wales, just 1,000 homes remain cut off.

The battle to restore power comes as forecasters issue a yellow alert for heavy rain and possible snow on Friday.

ScottishPower, which is responsible for the power network across north and mid Wales, said Friday's weather could cause further problems for its teams already struggling to reconnect customer supplies.

"We do have concerns about tomorrow," Guy Jefferson from ScottishPower told BBC Wales.

"We are expecting 60 to 70mph gusts again tomorrow - not as bad as we had yesterday, in terms of the 100mph gusts that we had across north Wales.

"But it is still dangerous in terms of working at heights.

"That's why we've now got over 1,000 staff working in the field in north Wales to make sure we get our customers back on as soon as we possibly can."

The company said it hoped to halve the number still without electricity by Friday morning.

For many councils, the break in the weather on Thursday has given teams a chance to start cleaning up widespread damage.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has praised the response of all those involved.

"We coped very well. The warning was there," he told BBC Radio Wales.

Image copyright Sian Rowlands
Image caption Plenty to clear-up - in Porthmadog, roofing ripped up at the town's train station

"Despite the warning there was still a lot of damage. It may seem an odd thing to say but it could have been worse.

"Fortunately nobody was killed, although there were some injuries.

"The big challenge now is to reconnect people to the power supplies as quickly as possible."

At the height of the storm, military help was offered but not taken up.

Mr Jones has said it was not yet clear whether Wales could receive additional funds from the UK government to help with the clear-up, although the prime minister has said extra money would be set aside to help affected communities.

The focus on the weather has now turned to Friday, with renewed warnings from the Met Office.

It has issued yellow alerts for rain covering much of south and west Wales on Friday morning from 04:00 GMT.

"The public should be aware of the potential for further flooding in places," said forecasters.

A yellow alert for snow is also in place for Friday morning, covering parts of south east Wales, mid Wales and into Conwy, Denbighshire and Wrexham.

Image copyright Mark Kendall
Image caption At the height of the storm, winds hit 108mph in parts of Gwynedd
Image copyright Tim Parfitt
Image caption With hurricane-force winds came massive waves at coastal locations like Porthcawl in south Wales

The Met Office said between 2 and 5cm (0.7-2in) of snow is possible on higher ground above 300m (980ft).

"We could have some problems across the Heads of the Valleys right up to Conwy," warned a BBC Wales weather presenter.

"The good news is the snow will turn back to rain as we get milder air through the afternoon."

Three flood warnings remain in force in Wales, covering the River Wye at Monmouth, the River Severn at Pool Quay and Trewern, and the Lower Dee Valley from Llangollen to Trevalyn Meadows.

Natural Resources Wales also has nine flood alerts in place.

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