Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) remains on Yellow Alert in preparation of a period of high winds, snow and lightning forecast to impact its north of Scotland network during today (Thursday).
SSEN’s current weather model shows a period of sustained high winds from the early hours of Thursday morning through to lunchtime on Friday, with gusts in excess of 90mph forecast for parts of north and north-west Highlands, north-east Scotland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.
These winds will be accompanied by heavy rain and a high risk of lightning is also in place.
With the temperature forecast to drop significantly on Friday, there is also a risk of line icing, where snow accumulates and freezes on the overhead electricity network, which can result in damage due to the sheer weight of accumulated snow and ice.
The combination of the weather conditions is expected to result in some disruption to electricity supplies across the north of Scotland and SSEN has enacted its well-established resilience plans. This includes increasing standby resources and moving people and equipment to areas in anticipation of potential damage.:
Over 850 frontline staff and support teams have been deployed to locations expected to be impacted by Storm Caroline, including the Scottish islands, to respond promptly to damage, where it is safe to do so.
83 mobile generation units have been deployed across SSEN’s network to assist with efforts to restore power.
Catering and welfare vans have also been strategically located across SSEN’s network to offer support to customers who experience a loss of supply.
Two helicopters are on standby to support efforts to respond to damage to SSEN’s network, when it is safe to fly.
All local resilience partners have been warned and informed, with key partners such as local authorities, the British Red Cross and the Salvation Army on hand to help support efforts.
SSEN’s Customer Services team has proactively contacted over 75,000 of its Priority Services Register customers to pre-warn them of the potential impact of Storm Caroline and to offer extra support where required.
SSEN is asking its customers to be prepared for the possibility of disruption to supplies and continues to liaise with local resilience partners to help coordinate efforts and ensure that everyone is prepared.
SSEN’s Director of Customer Operations, Dale Cargill, said: “Our established resilience plans are in place, with additional frontline teams, support staff, equipment and welfare facilities being mobilised in the areas expected to be impacted.
“I would like to reassure our customers that we are well prepared and resourced to respond promptly to any damage to our network, where it is safe to do so.
“If any of our customers do experience a power cut, or have any concerns about a vulnerable family member or community member, I would encourage them to please call us on the national power cut emergency number, 105.”
SSEN is also encouraging its customers not to approach any damage to its equipment and instead, report it to SSEN by calling 105 and engineers will investigate as soon as possible.
Customers are encouraged to be prepared in the event of possible disruption to power supplies, by:
Saving the new Freephone emergency power cut number – 105 – to your phone to use if your power goes off, or if you see any damage to the electricity network
Downloading SSEN’s Power Track app to give you details of power cuts and restoration times
Going to SSEN’s website where there is a wealth of advice and information on how to prepare for a possible loss of power
Following SSEN on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates
In the event of an interruption in power supplies, SSEN’s customer service team will make contact with customers on its Priority Service Register (PSR) to offer extra assistance, where required. People can qualify for the PSR if they:
Are dependent on electricity for home medical care
Have a chronic illness or short term medical condition
Have special communication needs
Have children under the age of five
Are over the age of 60
To find out more about the PSR, click here or call 0800 294 3259.