Storm Dennis: SSEN moves to Yellow Alert for central southern England

** SSEN has also moved to Weather Warning in anticipation of Storm Dennis bringing high winds and heavy rain to the north of Scotland from Sunday in to Monday ** 

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has moved to Yellow Alert for its central southern England region in advance of Storm Dennis, which is expected to impact the network this weekend. 

Wind speeds of up to 60mph are expected inland, and in excess of 65mph in coastal regions. This period of unsettled weather is expected to build from Saturday morning to midnight. The wind speeds and heavier rainfall is expected to impact the electricity network. 

Current forecasts show heavy rainfall across the region with some areas experiencing 75% of a typical February’s rainfall in 48 hours. Combined with the saturated ground following Storm Ciara, SSEN is alert to increased risk of flooding. SSEN is working with the Environment Agency to monitor alerts and areas of risk. 

Since 2014, SSEN has implemented a multimillion-pound investment programme to support network resilience against floods. This includes assessment of all substations identified by the Environment Agency as at risk, and SSEN is deploying flood defence equipment strategically across its central southern England sites. 

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. SSEN will have over 600 operational team members on duty over the period. 

In advance of the weather arriving, over 600,000 customers on SSEN’s Priority Services Register have been proactively contacted by text to inform them of the potential for disruption and to offer extra assistance where required. Customers in high PSR categories, including those who are medically dependent, have received further contact. SSEN’s regional teams are also liaising with local resilience partners to help coordinate efforts to prepare for potential supply interruptions. 

Stuart Hogarth, SSEN’s Director of Customer Operations, said: “We’ve been tracking this weather front for several days now and as a result have increased the number of engineers and operational staff across our central southern England network area. The increased rainfall, combined with high wind speeds, brings with it a risk of flooding, and we are undertaking additional measures to protect our critical infrastructure. 

"We’ll continue to monitor the situation throughout, and I would encourage 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 emergency power cut number – 105 – to your phone to report any loss of supply or damage to the electricity network
  • Downloading SSEN’s Power Track app to give you details of power cuts and restoration times. You can also report power cuts and network damage through the Power Track app
  • Going to SSEN’s website where there is a wealth of advice and information on how to deal with a power cut, or to chat live to one of SSEN’s advisors via its Webchat service
  • 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.