Resident ‘inconsolable and scared’ on sixth night without power

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One resident whose power went out to her home after Storm Arwen described feeling “inconsolable and scared” as she faces her sixth night without central heating.

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Thousands of people have been left without electricity, with winds up to 100 mph across northern England and Scotland breaking power lines, uprooting trees and littering roads.

Jessica May Tisdale, 35, whose home in Stanley, County Durham, lost power on Friday evening, described the experience as a “nightmare” and said her area had been “abandoned” by the government.

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Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng described the storm as unlike any other, and promised to do everything possible to restore power to affected homes before Christmas.

Ms Teasdale, an architectural ironmonger, told the PA news agency: “It’s a nightmare… we’re inconsolable and scared, are we going to get even more sick to the point where it’s pneumonia?

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“This morning I was in tears, just wondering, ‘Is this ever going to end?’

“Our health is deteriorating every day because we are in constant cold.

“It’s like we’ve forgotten. I mean, don’t be sad but I don’t even want to wake up tomorrow.”

The storm flattened thousands of trees (Forestry England/PA)

In parliament, Conservative Richard Holden told MPs, including Mr Quarteng, that 10,000 pounds of flu vaccine had been lost in a rural surgery in his north west Durham constituency when its fridges were disconnected.

He said some remote communities have been warned that it could take “a very long time” for their electricity supply to be fully restored.

Mr Quarteng replied: “It is unacceptable to be without power until Christmas, I will say this publicly, and I will do everything I can to ensure that does not happen.

“Clearly, Storm Arwen was a phenomenon we certainly haven’t seen in the 60 years since records began.

“We have to be prepared for similar extreme, tough weather conditions in the future. We have to make sure our system is resilient in that situation.”

A collapsed power line caused by Storm Arwen (ENA Energy Networks Association/PA)

He said it was “unacceptable” that people had to wait for two hours to reach emergency phone numbers for power outages over the weekend.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said at least 7,000 homes in his Westmoreland and Lonsdale constituencies have been without electricity for between three and five nights and feel “forgotten”.

Some have been told they will be without power for another week, and they urged the government to send troops to help.

Durham City Labor MP Mary Kelly Foy said the power cuts were a “national scandal”.

The Energy Networks Association said power has been restored to 97% of those affected, but it will be at least the weekend – seven days after the storm – before it returns for a minority.

Wellness centers and hot meals have been provided with local resilience forums, emergency services, local authorities and energy network companies working with the British Red Cross.

Engineers from across the UK have been sent to the most affected areas.

Energy Minister Greg Hands visited Weredale, County Durham, on Wednesday and called on Northern PowerGrid engineers to thank them for their efforts.

He said power has gone out to about 3,000 homes in the St. John’s Chapel area, which should be reduced to “a few hundreds” by Wednesday night.

His department said the minister is also expected to visit Northern POWERGRID’s Newcastle call centre.

Mr Quarteng previously warned that weather events such as Storm Arwen could become more frequent due to climate change.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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