Power cuts hit hundreds of homes in Sunderland and South Tyneside during Storm Aileen

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Engineers are working to restore power after outages hit hundreds of properties in Sunderland and nearby villages in South Tyneside and East Durham.

Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the region’s power network, said it has worked throughout the night and this morning to successfully restore power to around 7,400 customers after Storm Aileen caused power cuts across parts of the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

The firm said engineers successfully restored customer’s power by diverting electricity through alternative routes on its network, wherever possible. Where weather conditions permit, Northern Powergrid’s frontline staff are continuing to safely carry out repairs to the network and restore power for the 800 customers who are currently still affected.

The North East fared better than most during Storm Aileen, but 370 properties were affected in Sunderland and South Tyneside villages.

Some 50 homes had power knocked out in Whitburn, wither another 40 losing power in the Cleadon/East Boldon area.

There were 140 homes affected in Fulwell and 10 in Humbledon, with 130 losing power in Washington.

A further 10 properties in the Easington area of County Durham suffered power cuts.

The Northern Powergrid alerts website said teams are working hard to restore power, and the situation is expected to be resolved by 5.30pm today at the latest.

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s head of network operations, said: “We’ve been closely monitoring Storm Aileen all night. The storm did cause disruption on some parts of our network but our engineers, frontline staff and customer service advisors were ready to respond.

“Our teams have worked to safely get the power back on for our customers as soon as possible. Overnight and this morning we’ve restored electricity supplies to some 7,400 customers and we’d like to reassure those still affected that we’re working to safely restore their power so soon as possible.

“We invest around £1 million every day on maintaining and upgrading our network but weather like Storm Aileen can cause damage to our power network as result of fallen trees and windborne debris coming into contact with our network. The storm has now passed through our region and, as always, we will continue to closely monitor the weather.”

He said Northern Powergrid will be deploying its helicopter today to carry out inspections and provide intelligence of any other damage which may have been caused by Storm Aileen to its overhead network.

Northern Powergrid’s 24/7 Twitter (@northpowergrid) and Facebook pages will continue to provide regular updates and advice to customers and local communities.

The electricity distribution company, which manages a network of 63,000 substations and more than 60,000 miles of overhead power lines and underground cables, will continue to deploy all available resources as necessary to coordinate repairs to the network.

Customers with a disability, medical condition or very young families, who may need greater assistance during a power cut and have signed up to the company’s Priority Services Register, will be kept updated as a priority. Anyone interested in joining the Priority Services Register can sign up online via Northern Powergrid’s website or call the electricity distributor’s Powergrid Care team 0800 169 2996.

Northern Powergrid is urging anyone who spots any damaged cables or other equipment not to approach the area, but to report it immediately by calling 105 the free, easy-to-remember national phone line which will route people to Northern Powergrid.