Residents ‘frustrated and angry’ after a week without power

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Esidents have said they are feeling “disappointed and angry” after being without power for a week following Hurricane Arwen.

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One man in County Durham described how he was using his dog as a hot water bottle, while others said they were getting sick after days without heating.

About 10,500 people are still without power in north-eastern Scotland and parts of the north of England after Hurricane Arwen swept across the country on Friday 26 November.

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The storm has been described by Red Cross teams supporting those affected as the worst in 20 years.

I’m using my dog ​​as a hot water bottle

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Jessica Teasdale, of Stanley in County Durham, told the PA news agency: “People are frustrated and angry … everyone is getting sick.

“I saw my elderly neighbor yesterday, the poor man looked like he was about to cry. He is a weak person but no one has checked him and he remains alone.

“They keep changing the dates as to when the electricity will be given, but it is giving people false hope… now they are saying Sunday, but how do they expect that we will be like this till then?”

Her partner Christopher Bertram said: “I’m seeing Jessica now and she’s a wreck. She hasn’t slept or washes properly for a week. She’s like a man’s shell. Terrible to watch.

“I’m using my dog ​​as a hot water bottle.”

The couple restored power at around 2.30 pm on Friday.

Meanwhile, a couple in Northumberland were left without electricity for a week, accusing Northern PowerGrid of “locking down” residents to deal with the crisis.

Stewart Sexton said he and his companions have been living without hot water, light, or any means of communication since their home went out of power at 7.50 p.m. last Friday.

Speaking to the PA from his car in Alnwick, where he drove from his nearby home to get a phone signal, the 57-year-old said: “No one tosses about us in Northumberland. First contact with Northern PowerGrid Happened on the sixth day (Thursday).

Christopher Bertram and his partner Jessica Teasdale at their home in Stanley, County Durham (Danny Lawson/PA) , PA Wire

“He gave no information other than praising himself and saying that if we have receipts we can claim some expenses… after six days with candles, some takeaways, extra logs for wood burners, my Have no receipt. Who will?

“Every day this week they say it will happen tomorrow. They say they are guessing but it is not, it is normal.

Paul Glendinning, Executive Director of Northern PowerGrid, said: “We are deeply sorry for the hardship and disruption this is causing our customers.

“Our top priorities are to re-engage our customers as quickly as possible, keep them informed to the best of our capabilities, and do everything we can to support the broader efforts in our communities that aim to help those who need our most. the wanted.”

Northern PowerGrid said it has restored power to 234,900 of the 240,000 customers affected by Storm Arwen. As of 10 pm on Friday, 5,100 customers are without electricity. Work is on to restore power to the rest.

North of the border, about 1,600 Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) customers remained off supply on Friday morning.

These included 72-year-old Jim and Belinda Muir of Honeyyuk Farms in Maud, Aberdeenshire.

A week after the storm took their home off the grid, they still can’t rely on mains electricity, with dim and flickering lights that go off without notice and to power their central heating system. There is not enough energy for

The couple, who have been married for 48 years, rely on generators and portable gas heaters to provide some sort of light and heat for their homes.

Jim Muir and his wife Belinda, who live at Honeyyuk Farms, Maude, Aberdeenshire, have been without electricity for more than a week after Storm Arwen (Jane Barlow/PA) , PA Wire

The power outage has also caused problems in the field, with Mr Muir using tractor headlights to illuminate a shed to enable the safe delivery of a calf.

Their cattle were left without their water supply which uses an electric pump until they brought a generator.

“Listening to wireless, people were worried about their mobile phones not being charged,” he said. “We have 400 cattle that we have to take care of.”

He praised the engineers who are working to fix the issues, but said the “information is appalling”.

“One morning I sat on the phone for an hour and heard a recorded message and got nothing,” he said. “We didn’t learn anything. We didn’t know whether we should buy a generator or not.”

He said that while he expected the power to come back, he got the update, it was never the case. Eventually, he said, he secured a generator and the water came back and went to the 500-acre farm.

He said: “We are hoping (to restore power) tomorrow, but I don’t know.”

Mr Muir said his power was later restored to him at 5 p.m. Friday.

Troops have been deployed to assist in the affected areas (Danny Lawson/PA) , PA Wire

Matthew Killick, director of crisis response and community resilience with the British Red Cross, said: “This has been an extremely challenging week. Our teams on the ground are saying this is the worst storm in 20 years.

“Many families are still battling the cold without electricity. Our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly with local authorities, emergency services and the voluntary sector to keep people safe, check vulnerable people, and distribute water, hot water, food, torches and blankets.

“If you have been affected by Storm Arwen you can contact the British Red Cross support line on 0808 196 3651. You can also find other useful information on our website at redcross.org.uk.”

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