UK Power Networks engineers have restored power to over half a million customers who were affected when high winds caused extensive damage to power lines yesterday (Monday).
Latest figures show there are currently about 48,000 properties in the East and 9,000 in the South East still without power and these figures are changing constantly.
Some counties are back to normal now (Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire).
The storm was the biggest the company has coped with since 2002, and it affected power to nearly 620,000 customers. Other electricity distribution companies are supporting by lending their staff and today about 900 engineers are working hard to repair the damaged network and restore power to customers as soon as possible.
That is six times the usual number on duty. Engineers are currently working with UK Power Networks from Yorkshire, Liverpool, South Wales and the Midlands, while helicopter patrols are being held to check overhead power lines.
Anyone spotting a damaged power line is urged to report it to UK Power Networks, but to please stay well clear.
Customer service staff and volunteers from the British Red Cross, which works in partnership with UK Power Networks, will also be on site helping people in the worst affected areas.
UK Power Networks received more than 157,000 calls on Monday to leave its lines extremely busy. Customers are being asked to report any power cuts and damaged lines on free helplines.
In the East of England call 0800 783 8838. You can also see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and follow the company on twitter for updates.
Director of customer services Matt Rudling said: “We would like to thank people for their patience if they are still without power, and stress that we are working to restore all supplies as quickly as is safely possible.
“A lot of hard of work is going on round the clock, behind the scenes and we are making good progress with repairs.”
UK Power Networks made careful and robust preparations for the stormy weather. Senior staff are in close contact with the Met Office.
The electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can see wind-borne debris being blown onto overhead power lines.
UK Power Networks activated the early stages of our emergency plans on Friday and brought in additional staff covering engineering, technical and call centre roles.
In the event of a power cut you can:
• Call our free power cut helpline for your area or follow us on twitter
• Listen to your local radio station, or see our website and twitter, for updates on progress
• Keep a torch close to hand and if using candles, use them safely.