'Worse than useless': LBC listeners reveal impact of Storm Arwen power cuts

1 December 2021, 17:47

Shelagh Fogarty hears about Storm Arwen hypothermia victim in Durham

By Seán Hickey

As thousands in the north of the country edge closer to a week without power, LBC heard first-hand accounts from those worst affected by Storm Arwen.

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Shelagh Fogarty heard the personal stories of callers as the aftermath of Storm Arwen affects thousands.

Read more: Storm Arwen: Three dead, 100mph gales, floods, snow and thousands without power

Gareth phoned in from Country Durham to tell Shelagh of the horrific extent of the storm in his community.

"It's been unbearably cold" he began, telling LBC that neighbours had rallied around a neighbour in his 80s.

"They've done their very best with him: gas heaters and wrapping him up but the cold was just too much." He went on to say that the neighbour was hospitalised with hypothermia and died early on Tuesday morning.

Read more: UK weather: Ice warnings issued and more snow set to hit in wake of Storm Arwen

"He had as much help as anybody could give" the caller said, stating that the conditions were just too perilous.

"It's beyond a joke, people just feel abandoned", the caller concluded, noting that he hadn't "once spoken to a human being" to get a grasp on the conditions.

Caller without water: 'You just want to weep'

Justine phoned in from North Yorkshire to share her experience of having lost all running water, with a farm to run while waiting for it to come back.

Read more: UK weather: Ice warnings issued and more snow set to hit in wake of Storm Arwen

"It's miserable" she said, echoing Gareth's frustration at not being able to speak to a human about the issue.

She fumed that the response was "worse than useless".

"It feels like we've been forgotten about and when you hear that it might be off until Christmas, you just want to weep!"

"We're keeping everything crossed for Friday" she said, which is the day her community had been told their power would be restored.

Read more: Storm Arwen: How many homes remain without power and what's being done

Caller in Bishop Auckland without power since Friday speaks to LBC

Read more: Storm Arwen: Direction of wind behind damage in Scotland, says Deputy First Minister

Andrew spoke to Shelagh from Bishop Auckland to reiterate the anger of those left high and dry by a slow response to the disaster.

"As it stands now, I still don't know when we're getting power" he declared, sharing concern for his children who come home from school every day to a house without power.

He declared that he hadn't heard any information at all from the council or any authority, branding it "really unacceptable."

"If it went on until Christmas, you'd have to move out" Shelagh said, taking aim at the government by concluding "you can't leave people in that situation."

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