SSEN remains on Yellow Alert in the north of Scotland - Storm Ciara

Storm Ciara - details of SSEN's preparations

** SSEN has also remains on Yellow Alert in central southern England in anticipation of Storm Ciara bringing high winds and heavy rain on Sunday 9 February **

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has moved to Yellow Alert in preparation for a period of storm force winds, heavy rain and lightning which could impact the electricity network in the north of Scotland this weekend.

Named as Storm Ciara by the Met Office, forecasts show two frontal systems moving in from the west, the first on Saturday from mid-afternoon bringing gusts of 60-70mph across the north of Scotland, with the worst of the winds expected in Argyll, Shetland and the Aberdeenshire coast.

A second front is forecast to move in from early Sunday morning, with the potential for gusts in excess of 80mph in western areas and 75mph in the east. Hail showers, heavy rain and lightning are forecast to accompany the strong winds on both days.

This combination of weather conditions has the potential to result in damage to SSEN's network. In response, SSEN has enacted its well-established resilience plans, increasing standby resources in anticipation of potential damage to the network and moving teams and equipment to the areas expected to be impacted:

  • Over 470 field and support staff are on duty, ready to respond to the impact of Storm Ciara.
  • Over 70 mobile generation sets have been placed in key locations to help restoration efforts, with back-up generation stations available.
  • 220 contact centre employees are ready to take customer calls.

SSEN has contacted over 193,000 customers on the Priority Services Register to inform them of the potential for disruption and offer extra assistance where required. SSEN’s regional teams are also liaising with local resilience partners to help coordinate efforts to prepare for potential supply interruptions.

Mark Rough, SSEN’s Director of Customer Operations, said:

“Forecasts show a stormy couple of days which have the potential to impact the electricity network in the north of Scotland. In line with our established resilience plans, we’re acting now to ensure we’ve got the right people in the right places to restore power to our customers as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“I’d like to reassure our customers we’re well prepared for these conditions, but I’d ask anyone concerned about the potential disruption to supplies, particularly those who may need additional support during a power cut, to call us on 105.”

Customers are also being encouraged to be prepared for the possibility of disruption to power supplies by:

  • Saving the free-to-dial 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

Customers can register for SSEN's Priority Services Register (PSR) if they require extra assistance. 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
  • Have a disability
  • 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 3.8 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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