Storm Arwen: Major operation ongoing to help thousands affected

Rest centres and food vans were setup to provide warmth and hot food to those affected.

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A major support operation is ongoing as thousands of people are still without power or water following a devastating storm that caused havoc over the weekend.

Storm Arwen cut off electricity to more than 100,000 homes and thousands were left without running water.

Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said that 24,000 still had no power with work to restore the network expected to take days longer.

Councils, communities, emergency services and utility providers are continuing to offer support to those affected on Monday evening as many brace for a fourth night without energy, water and heating.

Boris Johnson pledged to help those affected. He said: “My thoughts are with those continuing to face any disruption caused by Storm Arwen.

“The situation in the north east of Scotland is among the most concerning and, while forecasts are improving, we are on standby to provide further assistance to the Scottish Government.”

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Those affected have been advised to contact their local authority for help and advice.

Aberdeenshire schools and facilities have been set up to provide hot food and welfare facilities to those who need it.

Meals and facilities are available at Alford Academy, Aboyne Academy, Crimmond School, New Deer School, Hatton Cruden School, Auchnagatt School, Boddam School and Westhill Primary until 8pm on Monday.

SSEN catering vans are on location at Braemar, Kintore, Turriff, Aboyne at Old Huntly Hotel Car Park, Torphins, Alford, and Rhynie (also covering Lumsden).

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There are also food vans at Echt Hall, Sauchen, Hilton Hall and Crudie.

Rest Centres have also been established at the following locations; Ballater at the Victoria and Albert Hall, Eassie and Nevay Hall, Fintry, Knockraich Farm, Strathyre Primary School, Aberfoyle Primary School and Doune Primary School.

In Braemar, the Fife Arms Hotel is providing community assistance and in the meantime the council is delivering diesel to keep their generator going and arranging deliveries of food.

Alford Public Hall is open as a welfare centre providing hot food, hot water and hot drinks until 7pm for anyone who wishes to use these facilities from the surrounding area.

The Scottish Government’s Resilience Room met on Monday afternoon, chaired by deputy first minister John Swinney.

He said: “While we are hopeful for a further recovery as soon as possible, the scale and complexity of the situation cannot be underestimated. Many people are still without power and water, and that’s why local authorities and partners are stepping up welfare support in affected areas for those who need it.

“I would like to reassure anyone who has been affected by outages and shortages that help is available – please do not hesitate to get in touch with your local council to be directed to the relevant support in your area.

“We will continue to monitor progress closely, ensuring every possible resource is deployed and provide updates as the situation develops. In the meantime I would like to express my gratitude to all those who continue to provide vital support to local communities.”