Lights back on for thousands as supplier restores power after Storm Barra

Around 8,000 customers were knocked off the grid during the second winter storm of the season.

Dan Barker
Wednesday 08 December 2021 20:08
A couple walk their dog through the snow in Leadhills, South Lanarkshire as Storm Barra hits the UK and Ireland with disruptive winds, heavy rain and snow on Tuesday. Picture date: Tuesday December 7, 2021.
A couple walk their dog through the snow in Leadhills, South Lanarkshire as Storm Barra hits the UK and Ireland with disruptive winds, heavy rain and snow on Tuesday. Picture date: Tuesday December 7, 2021.

Householders across Scotland who had their electricity supplies disrupted by Storm Barra can now turn the lights back on after power was restored.

Around 1,000 customers were still off the grid on Wednesday morning because of disruption caused by the second winter storm of the season, supplier Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said.

But the network has now confirmed that supplies to all of its customers in the north of Scotland had been restored just before 7pm.

Snowfall in Leadhills, South Lanarkshire as Storm Barra hit the UK (Jane Barlow/PA)

John Swinney Deputy First Minister, had told MSPs in Holyrood on Wednesday that he acknowledged the “inconvenience and hardship” caused for those affected – some of whom had only recently had their power switched back on after the damage caused by Storm Arwen.

The earlier storm caused “catastrophic damage” to electricity networks, mainly in north-east Scotland, affecting 135,000 properties.

The Met Office issued yellow weather warnings as Storm Barra brought high winds, heavy rain and snow to parts of Scotland on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, the supplier SSEN said it had about 1,000 customers without power across the north of Scotland, with 700 of these in the Grampian area.

Labour North East Scotland MSP Michael Marra raised the issue at Holyrood, saying: “With further poor weather forecast, it is imperative that the situation is resolved as soon as possible.”

He told the Deputy First Minister: “Storm Barra of course comes straight after Storm Arwen and many residents had just seen their power supply restored after the damage last week.

“Part of the widespread frustration, and in some places anger that exists, is around the lack of clear communication from the Government and the energy suppliers.”

Police Scotland said they declared the major incident was over on Wednesday afternoon, and Superintendent Murray Main thanked “everyone involved for their dedication and for working around-the-clock to restore the power”.

Ritchie Johnson, from Aberdeenshire Council, said with “any major event like this there are always things we learn about our response and resilience”.

“Getting homes and businesses reconnected, and ensuring the welfare of the most vulnerable people in Aberdeenshire, has been our shared number one priority over the past week and more,” he said.

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