Around 350 properties in Shetland have been left without power for a sixth day as engineers struggle against the weather to reconnect the supply.
A major incident was declared in Shetland earlier in the week after thousands of homes lost power on Monday afternoon as heavy snow brought down lines. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution said a 160-strong team is now focused on the areas experiencing the worst of the damage caused by line icing.
This occurred where snow and ice accumulated on large sections of power line, bringing down overhead lines and breaking wooden electricity poles. As of 5.30pm on Saturday, around 350 properties remained without power in Clousta, Murrister to Snarraness and Bayhall to Whiteness, while 350 homes were reconnected earlier in the day.
SSEN Distribution said it is confident that the final properties will be reconnected by Sunday afternoon, subject to no unforeseen challenges.
Mark Macdonald, head of region at SSEN Distribution, said: “With additional crews on Shetland today to bolster our army of engineers, we continue to make excellent progress ahead of our forecasts, restoring power to 350 properties through the course of the day. Our teams will continue to work throughout the evening and will be back out at first light tomorrow to push on with the final restoration effort.
"Barring no unforeseen challenges, we’re confident we can restore power to all remaining properties by Sunday afternoon. We understand the challenges communities are facing after days without power and would like to thank Shetland Islands Council, our resilience partners and local communities for their ongoing support in coordinating warm hubs for local residents.
“We’re proactively calling all customers without power to check on their welfare and would urge anyone who needs support to call us on 105.” SSEN Distribution also advised customers that some properties may need to be temporarily disconnected for a short period of time as it “energises” additional sections of the network.
It said this is necessary to avoid the risk of overloading the circuit and damage to equipment which would lead to a longer power interruption for customers. Once power has been restored to all properties and final assessments carried out, customers will be entitled to compensation under the regulated Guaranteed Standards of Performance.
For power interruptions over 48 hours, customers will receive £70, with a further £70 for every subsequent 12-hour period they were off supply. Warnings of wintry weather have been issued for many parts of Scotland over the weekend.
A yellow weather warning of ice is in force in northern Scotland, Orkney and Shetland until 8am on Sunday. And a yellow warning of snow and ice has been issued for much of mainland Scotland from 7am until 9pm on Sunday.
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