Storm Arwen: How many homes remain without power - and what's being done?

1 December 2021, 16:48 | Updated: 6 December 2021, 06:53

Thousands of homes remain without power in the UK after Storm Arwen
Thousands of homes remain without power in the UK after Storm Arwen. Picture: SSEN/Northern Powergrid/Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Almost a million homes lost power after Storm Arwen wreaked havoc, with tens of thousands still without electricity a week later.

Last Friday, winds reached almost 100mph in parts of northern England and Scotland, power lines were ripped down, many thousands of trees were uprooted and roads were blocked by debris.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has promised to do everything possible to restore power to homes still affected, with engineers sent from across the UK working in the worst-affected areas.

READ MORE: Ice warnings issued and more snow set to hit in wake of Storm Arwen

He told the House of Commons: "Being without power until Christmas is simply unacceptable, I'll say that publicly, and I'll do everything I can to make sure that that doesn't happen.

"Clearly, Storm Arwen was an event the likes of which we haven't seen for certainly 60 years since the record starts."

How many homes are still without power?

Seven days after the storm hit, around 10,500 homes were still without electricity as of 2pm.

Almost a million initially lost power, with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) saying it has now been restored to 98% of those affected.

However, the ENA has previously said it will be at least the end of the week - seven days after the devastating storm - before it is back on for a minority.

The worst affected areas are northern England and Scotland.

In England, Northern Powergrid said 11,000 of the homes it supplies are still without electricity, while about 5,850 Electricity North West customers are also still affected.

Meanwhile, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said last night 4,100 remained without power in Scotland.

Click to view maps of Northern Powergrid and SSEN customers affected by power cuts.

Which areas are still affected?

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron told the Commons two days ago that "at least 7,000 homes" in his Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, in south Cumbria, have been without power for three to five nights and feel "forgotten".

Some had been told they will be without power for another week, he said, and he urged the Government to send in the Army to help.

Thousands in County Durham remained without power, with North West Durham’s Conservative MP Richard Holden saying some living in remote communities had been warned it could be a "very long time" before their electricity supply is fully restored.

Mary Kelly Foy, Labour MP for Durham City, called the ongoing power outages are a "national scandal".

Energy minister Greg Hands visited Weardale in County Durham on Wednesday and met Northern Powergrid engineers to thank them for their efforts.

He said about 3,000 homes in the St John's Chapel area had lost power, which should be down to the "few hundreds" by Wednesday night.

In Scotland, the worst affected area is Aberdeenshire.

Getting help

Welfare centres and hot food are being provided, with the energy network companies working with local resilience forums, emergency services, local authorities and the British Red Cross.

A free support line set up by the Red Cross to provide emotional support can be reached on 0808 196 3651.

The Government has provided information on the steps to take if you are affected by a power cut here.

Meanwhile, information about applying for compensation is available from Ofgem's website.