The company responsible for keeping the power network running across the North East says it is working hard to get people's supply back on track after gale-force winds.
Northern Powergrid has restored power to more than 39,250 customers and is working to get the lights back on for the 2,350 customers currently affected as a result of the gale force winds which have hit the North East today.
The severe weather has primarily affected parts of Tyne and Wear, as well as West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire areas with gusts of up to 70 mph.
Engineers successfully restored customers since the winds started in the early hours by carrying out repairs and diverting electricity through alternative routes on its network, wherever possible.
Where weather conditions permit, Northern Powergrid’s frontline staff are continuing to work to safely carry out repairs, as quickly as possible, to the network damaged as a result of the weather.
The electricity distributor has also deployed its helicopter to carry out inspections and provide intelligence of any other damage which may have been caused by the gale force winds to its overhead network.
Northern Powergrid is continuing to monitor the weather and has staff ready to respond should it cause any further damage.
Rod Gardner, its head of network operations, said: “We’ve continued to work throughout the day in challenging conditions to ensure the vast majority of our customers affected have their power back on. Our teams will continue to work until power is restored for all our customers affected as a result of today’s gale force winds.
“Strong gales, like what we have seen today, can cause damage to our power network as result of fallen trees and windborne debris coming into contact with our network. If anyone spots any damage to overhead power lines or equipment they should stay away and contact us immediately by calling 105 – the free, power cut number.”
The company is reminding customers that its website northernpowergrid.com, has an easy-to-use power cut map and reporting service which customers can use to log a power cut, get real-time updates and find advice about what to do in a power cut.
It’s also encouraging customers to bookmark the website on their mobile phone.
Northern Powergrid’s 24/7 Twitter - @northpowergrid - and Facebook pages are providing regular updates and advice to customers and communities.
The electricity distribution company, which manages a network of 63,000 substations and more than 95,000km of overhead power lines and underground cables, will continue to deploy all available resources as necessary to deal with any damage caused.
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 0800 169 2996.
Northern Powergrid is also using its customer support vehicles, wherever possible, to support customers.
The electricity distributor is also using its partnership with the British Red Cross to help provide additional care to customers on its register, where necessary.
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 new, free, easy-to-remember national phone line which will route people to Northern Powergrid.
The electricity distributor can also be contacted on 0800 66 88 77 in the North East.
Power cut advice and tips include:
*Bookmark Northern Powergrid’s online power cut map and reporting service on your mobile devices – www.northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts
*Have a charged mobile phone with important numbers, including 105 the new, free national power cut phone line, easily accessible.
*Turn off electrical appliances at the socket (this is particularly important for heating or cooking appliances as your power could be restored at any time and potentially cause a safety hazard)
*Keep one light switched on so you know when power is restored
*Keep a battery or wind-up torch handy – they’re much safer than candles
*Check on your elderly or sick neighbours and relatives
*Ensure you have warm clothing and blankets handy if weather cold and some food and drink in your home that does not require electricity to heat or prepare it
*Only call 999 in the event of an emergency.