Thousands of households still without power in freezing temperatures after 'worst storm in 16 years'

Thousands of households in the North East, including North Yorkshire, are still without power after much of the country took a battering from Storm Arwen.

A walker braves the snow on the Cow & Calf on Ilkey Moor Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Windspeeds of up to 100mph saw power outages to 240,000 homes, with around 40,000 still waiting for power to be restored.

Northern Powergrid, which delivers electricity across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, warned on Sunday some customers would remain off supply “for long periods”, with 700 incidents still to address.

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As well as using helicopters to spot damage, extra engineers have been drafted in from Northern Ireland Electricity and UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity in the South-East.

It came as the wintry weather continued, with snow falling on higher ground. Forecasters say after a milder interlude they expect colder conditions to return later this week.

Northern Powergrid said the storm was the worst it had seen since 2005, was working to restore power to thousands of homes, including areas with Newcastle and Chester le Street postcodes.

It apologised to customers who were still without power, adding: “With more than 700 (of 1,100) incidents still to address, there is a huge amount of work to be completed.

“Many of the faults will require intensive work and are localised with smaller numbers of customers associated, which means some customers will remain off supply for long periods as the network operator works through this programme.”

Frustrated customers took to social media to complain of being stuck in freezing houses, and expressing concern for vulnerable elderly people and those in ill health.

One customer tweeted: “Stop the PR tweets and start updating customers who have been without power since late Friday night.”

Emergency services and councils across North Yorkshire are carrying out checks on people who may need help, particularly in areas affected by power cuts.

North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, which coordinates the response, said everyone could help by checking in with elderly relatives, friends or neighbours.

The wintry weather meant continuing problems on the roads for some with the A66 remained closed between the A685 Brough and the A67 Bowes.

Gritters and snowploughs were working to remove stranded vehicles.

The A628 in South Yorkshire was also closed on Sunday between the A616 (Flouch) and the A57 (Hollingworth) due to strong winds and snow.

The Met Office said they expect temperatures down to below -10C in areas on Monday morning, with snow cover across Scotland and Northern England. After a milder interlude at the start of the week, forecasters say there are signs of further cold conditions moving in from the north by the middle of the week.