Specialist engineers from Bury St Edmunds drafted in to aid Storm Arwen response

The team from Bury St Edmunds working to restore power to homes following the destruction of Storm Arwen

The team from Bury St Edmunds working to restore power to homes following the destruction of Storm Arwen - Credit: UK Power Networks

A team of specialist engineers from Bury St Edmunds have been among those to travel north to help restore power to homes cut off by Storm Arwen. 

Around one million homes and businesses have been affected, with Scotland and the north-east being the worst hit areas, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said. 

More than 90% of homes have been reconnected but 45,000 customers still currently remain without power. 

The damage to power lines was the worst seen in Britain since 2005, according to the ENA. 

This comes as parts of the UK faced the coldest night of the autumn so far, including Shap in Cumbria, which recorded a low of minus 8.7C (16.3F).

UK Power Networks sent 236 specialist engineers from the east and south east to destinations such as Northumberland and the Pennines as part of the national collaborative mutual aid response. 

The team from Bury have been working to replace poles and overhead cables brought down by the weight of ice. 

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Engineer Barney Farrell, who is leading the Bury team working in North Yorkshire, said: “Everyone is incredibly welcoming and understanding despite being without power for several days.” 

Bill D’Albertanson, emergency planning manager at UK Power Networks, said: “We work in close contact with industry colleagues to share the available staff when we can, to help repair their networks and restore the power to people who are without electricity.

“This is part of a collective response to the significant challenge other parts of the UK have experienced during Storm Arwen, and we know first-hand what a difference extra help makes at such a difficult time.

"We will continue to make our resources available this week until customers’ power has been restored.”

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s major incident manager, said: “The impact from the storm has been one of the worst we’ve experienced in the last 20 years.

"Our teams will work in partnership, through this vital industry mutual aid support arrangement, to ensure we continue to do all we can to support our customers and get them back on supply safely and as soon as we can.

"We will not stop until all our customers are restored, and our network is returned to full strength.”