Support continues to be available to those still without power

Fallen tree across a country road

Published: Friday, 3rd December 2021

We continue to provide support to communities while Scottish Power Energy Networks continue work to reconnect customers following Storm Arwen.

Throughout this week we have made hot food and drinks available from Duns Primary School for those without power in Berwickshire, which remains the worst affected area.

Additional support has also been provided from the school kitchen at Ayton Primary School and through the deployment of catering vans from third sector partners, including the Salvation Army, to specific locations such as Foulden and Whitsome.

Similar arrangements were in place during the early part of the week in other localities which have now been reconnected, and deliveries of food have also been arranged where required.

See our website for the latest update.

Power cuts

We remain in regular contact with Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) and a multi-agency group including ourselves, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Borders continues to meet several times a day to manage the ongoing response and recovery efforts and escalate issues with SPEN at every opportunity.

Residents in need of assistance as a result of continued power outages can contact our Customer Advice and Support Service via 0300 100 1800 during office hours or 01896 752111 out of hours.

Anyone experiencing a power cut should contact the national freephone number 105. Scottish Power Energy Networks can also be contacted directly on 0800 092 9290.

SPEN is offering additional compensation on top of the statutory payments for those who have been without power. Further details can be found on the SPEN website.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Leader of Scottish Borders Council

“I would like to thank all those who have been working tirelessly since last Friday to support our communities affected by the significant damage and power cuts caused by Storm Arwen.

“That has had to happen alongside our normal arrangements in terms of providing social care and social work services, and in addition to significant winter maintenance across our road network due to ice and snow.

“The response from all partners has been exceptional and I would particularly like to pay tribute to the Resilient Community group volunteers throughout the area who have played a critical role, in many cases whilst they too have been without power at home.

“Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) has deployed significant resources, equipment and staff to the area to restore power, and those linesmen and women have been doing a fantastic job in difficult conditions. However, the communication from SPEN, both with the Council and those still without power, has not matched the response on the ground.

“The lack of information regarding the number and actual location of those without power, or accurate restoration times, has made it exceptionally challenging for the Council and other partners to respond as effectively as possible.

“Now is not the time, but it is clear that there needs to be a review of the communication and information flow from SPEN to statutory authorities in such events, to ensure that the best possible response can be put in place to help those in need.”

Roads, parks and cemeteries

Work continues on a small number of roads which remain affected by fallen trees, with specialist contractors deployed due to the size and volume of trees in some locations.

The number and size of trees that fell during Storm Arwen is unprecedented in terms of a single weather event in recent years.

A full audit of our 3,000km road network and associated infrastructure is ongoing, with the main damage identified to date being to roadside barriers and signage.

An up to date list of closures can be found on our dedicated webpage.

Parks, play parks and cemeteries are also being assessed for damage and clearance works will be required throughout next week.

Property damage and schools

Damage to Eyemouth Contact Centre has resulted in its closure this week.

Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth has also sustained damage, and adjacent footpaths have been closed and a cordon established for public safety reasons.

A small number of schools were affected earlier in the week from minor damage, power cuts and associated heating issues, but all are open as normal today.