UK Power Networks has issued the following letter containing warnings and advice about the effects of the severe weather on the electricity distribution:
12th February 2014: Over the past two months, Britain has been subjected to some severe weather. We have just had the wettest January in over 200 years and February has continued this trend. The Met Office now forecasts that more severe weather may hit our region this afternoon and persist throughout the rest of the week. UK Power Networks is therefore monitoring the weather extremely closely and maintaining its preparations in readiness for any impact on its network.
Today a National Severe Weather Warning has been issued across the whole of England and Wales for gale force winds.
For UK Power Networks’ regions, the Met Office forecasts wind speeds of 45-55mph in our South East network on the night of 12 February. There may also be gusts of up to 70mph on the coast. These winds are expected to move up to the more exposed areas of our Eastern network with gusts up to 60mph being predicted. The storm is expected to die down in the early hours of the morning of 13 February.
A band of heavy rain is also forecast for the afternoon of 12 February, moving eastwards across our networks, with up to 10mm of rainfall predicted. This will give way to more showery conditions by the evening.
Further severe weather is then forecast on the morning of 14 February, continuing through to 15 February. Gale force winds and heavy rain are forecast on 15 February, with gusts of up to 75mph expected across our both our Eastern and South Eastern networks.
We are in the process of securing extra resources, including linesmen and scouts, to be mobilised for both the Eastern and South Eastern network areas. Calls are being made throughout the business and our contractors to find these extra resources.
Later today a conference call between all DNOs will be taking place to discuss the possibility of providing staff to assist in repairing the most affected networks. However, if the storm materialises and is, as currently forecast, a national event, it is likely that the extent of assistance that other DNOs can provide will be limited.
UK Power Networks’ specially trained staff, known as Customer Champions, have also been put on stand-by.
Contacting UK Power Networks
In communication with customers, we urge the public to stay well clear from power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to UK Power Networks.
To report any power cuts and damaged lines on free helplines, please refer customers to the following numbers: In the South East call 0800 783 8866 or 01243 50 8866 for mobile users and in the East of England call 0800 783 8838 or 01243 50 8838 for mobile users. You can also see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and follow the company on twitter for updates.
Preparing for a power cut
Below is some advice on how our customers can prepare for a power cut:
- Keep our freephone number handy
- See the website for some useful videos offering you advice during a power cut.
- Keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
- Keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work in the event of a power cut
- Dress warmly in several layers of clothing, stay in one room or even get into bed
- Take care if using candles, tea-lights and other naked flames
- Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
- Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
- Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
- Look out for elderly neighbours; please consider taking them a flask of hot water round or hot food
Stakeholder Engagement Team
UK Power Networks
237 Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 6NP