Battle to restore power to Island homes

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Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) engineers have restored power to more than 28,000 homes since this morning, as they battle against the effects of the ‘weather bomb’ and lightning strikes.

More than 500 engineers and support staff have been working since first light to restore power to all the remaining households and will continue to work late into the night.

However, repairs are taking longer due to the nature and complexity of the damage to the network in some areas. Engineers not only had to contend with rain, snow, and strong winds but also damage caused by lightning strikes.

The main areas still affected are Western Isles (900 customers without power), Shetland (270), Orkney (100), rural Fort William (500), Dunoon (570) and rural Oban (245).

However, the weather is also affecting a number of other places causing minor damage to the electricity network. The number of customers without electricity is now around 2,800.

Rodney Grubb, Head of Operations for SHEPD, praised customers: “I would like thank customers for their patience and understanding at a time like this.

“We knew the bad weather was coming and we meticulously prepared for it with hundreds of additional staff. Our engineers continue to tackle the more difficult damage on the network and will restore power to the remaining customers off supply as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The company is operating at ‘Yellow Alert,’ with hundreds of additional staff on the ground and in customer call centres. The severe storm, dubbed ‘weather bomb’ by the media, had been forecast by SHEPD’s meteorologists five days in advance, which allowed for meticulous planning and preparedness.

SHEPD is working with councils, emergency services and a number of other agencies to ensure that vulnerable customers are looked after.

Outbound calls continue to be made to our most vulnerable customers, offering them a priority service. Any customers who lose their electricity supply are urged to contact our dedicated team on 0800 300 999 to report damage or highlight neighbours or friends who may need extra help.