Hundreds of homes should get power back on Wednesday evening, Swinney says

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Hundreds of homes left without power after Storm Barra battered parts of Scotland should have their electricity restored on Wednesday evening.

As of 5pm there were still 225 homes without power, of which 180 of those were in Aberdeenshire, supplier Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney told MSPs at Holyrood that engineers were working to reconnect customers, adding: “The final restoration time of the last fault is expected at 7pm tonight.”

However he acknowledged the “inconvenience and hardship” caused for those affected – some of whom had only recently had their power switched back on after the damage caused by Storm Arwen.

The earlier storm caused “catastrophic damage” to electricity networks, mainly in the north-east of Scotland, affecting 135,000 properties.

The Met Office issued yellow weather warnings as Storm Barra brought high winds, heavy rain and snow to parts of Scotland on Tuesday.

Snow
A couple walk their dog through the snow in Leadhills, South Lanarkshire, as Storm Barra hit the UK (Jane Barlow/PA)

On Wednesday morning the supplier SSEN said it had about 1,000 customers without power across the north of Scotland, with 700 of these in the Grampian area.

That was after its staff had restored power to more than 8,000 customers who were disconnected due to the weather.

Labour North East Scotland MSP Michael Marra raised the issue at Holyrood, saying: “With further poor weather forecast, it is imperative that the situation is resolved as soon as possible.”

He told the Deputy First Minister: “Storm Barra of course comes straight after Storm Arwen and many residents had just seen their power supply restored after the damage last week.

“Part of the widespread frustration, and in some places anger that exists, is around the lack of clear communication from the Government and the energy suppliers.”

Ritchie Johnson, from Aberdeenshire Council, said with “any major event like this there are always things we learn about our response and resilience”.

“Getting homes and businesses reconnected, and ensuring the welfare of the most vulnerable people in Aberdeenshire, has been our shared number one priority over the past week and more,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued 11 flood alerts and three flood warnings.

There has also been some disruption to rail and ferry services in the wake of the storm, while three schools in Aberdeenshire are closed.

On the railways, ScotRail said services between Stranraer, Kilmarnock and Glasgow Central may be cancelled or revised on Wednesday due to the impact of Storm Barra the previous day.

Caledonian MacBrayne said amended timetables will operate on some ferry routes due to disruption the day before.

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team spent 16 hours helping a walker in difficulty in snowy conditions at the Fords of Avon refuge.

They tweeted: “A very challenging night at times.

“Huge thanks to the couple that found him initially and came for help.”

The walker was recovered safe and well.

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