Thousands of homes across Shetland are waking up to a third day without power as engineers race to restore supplies in plummeting temperatures.
Teams from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution have been working to restore power since Monday when severe snowfall caused “extensive” damage to overhead cables, cutting off around 3,800 homes.
A major incident has been declared on the islands following a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee with warnings power could be off “for days”.
It comes as a yellow weather warning for snow and ice in much of the East and North of Scotland was extended until Friday afternoon.
A record low for 2022 of -17.3C was recorded in Braemar, Aberdeenshire overnight on Monday, hours after supplies were cut off in the Islands.
It is hoped around 70 engineers can be flown in on Wednesday morning to try and restore power by the weekend.
SSEN regional head, Mark Macdonald, said: “Our teams continue to battle ongoing challenging conditions and extensive damage to our network to restore power to customers, with around 1,000 properties successfully reconnected on Tuesday.
“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we mobilise additional support from the mainland to assist with the restoration effort, with a 70-strong team on its way to Shetland now travel constraints have eased.
“I’d like to reassure customers we’re working to restore supplies as quickly as possible, liaising closely with our resilience partners to support the joint welfare effort. If anyone has any concerns for themselves or others, particularly family members of neighbours who may need extra support, I’d encourage them to give our teams a call on 105.”
All schools in Shetland were closed on Tuesday due to the weather conditions, while several schools were closed in Aberdeenshire.
Earlier, chief inspector Stuart Clemenson released a statement to Shetland residents saying: “I would urge people to stay at home where it is safest given the treacherous conditions outdoors, and find ways to stay as warm as you can.
“Link in with neighbours, friends and family to ensure they are safe and well, in particular those who are vulnerable, and listen to the local radio or follow social media for updates from Police Scotland and our partners. If you need police help, contact 101 or 999 in an emergency and we will respond as quickly as we can.
“The impact the snow has had in the north of Shetland is unprecedented and local resilience partners are working closely together to identify those who may need additional support and coordinate welfare arrangements.”