Storm Caroline: SSEN moves to Yellow Alert for its north of Scotland electricity network

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has moved to Yellow Alert in preparation of a period of high winds, snow and lightning forecast to impact its north of Scotland network later this week.

SSEN’s current weather model shows a period of sustained high winds from the early hours of Thursday morning through to lunchtime on Friday, with gusts in excess of 90mph forecast for parts of north and north-west Highlands, north-east Scotland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.  These winds will be accompanied by heavy rain, increasingly turning to snow at all levels, bringing a risk of blizzards.  A high risk of lightning is also in place. The weather event has been officially named by the Met Office as Storm Caroline.

The combination of the weather conditions is expected to result in a number of faults across the north of Scotland and SSEN is ensuring that preparations and resources are in place to deal with any issues that may affect its network, increasing its standby resources in anticipation of potential damage. SSEN is also asking its customers to be prepared for the possibility of disruption to supplies.   

In advance of the weather event, SSEN is proactively contacting its Priority Service Register customers to offer extra assistance where required and is liaising with local resilience partners to help coordinate efforts and ensure that everyone is prepared for any interruption to supplies should they occur.

SSEN’s Director of Customer Operations, Dale Cargill, said:

“Our advance weather monitoring systems have identified a period of high winds, heavy rain, snow and lightning which will potentially cause widespread damage across our network later this week.  Our established resilience plans are well underway, with additional frontline teams, support staff, equipment and welfare facilities being mobilised in the areas expected to be impacted.  I would like to reassure our customers that we are well prepared and resourced to respond promptly to any damage to our network, where it is safe to do so.

“We have been proactively contacting our vulnerable customers to pre-warn them of potential disruption to supplies and offer extra support where required, as well as working closely with our local resilience partners.  If any of our customers do experience a power cut, or have any concerns about a vulnerable family member or community member, I would encourage them to please call us on the national power cut emergency number, 105.”

SSEN is also encouraging its customers not to approach any damage to its equipment and instead, report it to SSEN by calling 105 and engineers will investigate as soon as possible.

Customers are encouraged to be prepared in the event of possible disruption to power supplies, by: 

  • Saving the new Freephone emergency power cut number – 105 – to your phone to use if your power goes off, or if you see any damage to the electricity network
  • Downloading SSEN’s Power Track app to give you details of power cuts and restoration times
  • Going to SSEN’s website where there is a wealth of advice and information on how to prepare for a possible loss of power
  • Following SSEN on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates

In the event of an interruption in power supplies, SSEN’s customer service team will make outbound calls to customers on its Priority Service Register (PSR) to offer extra assistance, where required. People can qualify for the PSR if they:   

  • Are dependent on electricity for home medical care
  • Have a chronic illness or short term medical condition
  • Are disabled
  • Have special communication needs
  • Have children under the age of five
  • Are over the age of 60

To find out more about the PSR, click here or call 0800 294 3259.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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