'Lessons must be learned' - Ribble Valley MP offers support and reassurance to households plunged into darkness during Storm Arwen
Conservative Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has voiced his concerns and is seeking assurance that power systems are never vulnerable again to extreme weather events.
Storm Arwen brought severe weather including high wind speeds of up to 100mph, heavy rain, snow and ice, causing some of the most severe disruption to the power grid for over a decade.
In the North West alone over 100,000 homes were without power on November 26th, including dozens of homes in the Ribble Valley. This was largely due to falling trees damaging power lines. After a monumental effort by Electricity North West power has now been restored to over 95 percent homes who were cut off. All the properties in the Ribble Valley who were disconnected should now be back online.
Following previous representations, Nigel Evans MP recently met with The Chief Executive Officer of Electricity North West Construction and Maintenance, Mr Mark Williamson, to seek assurance that they were doing all they could to restore power to the last few homes who remained without power in the Ribble Valley, as well as raise the concerns of all the constituents who have been in touch. Mr Evans urged Electricity North West to ensure that a substantive review is undertaken in order to ensure improvements are made.
Speaking from Westminster, the Conservative MP said: “I want to commend the work of the engineers on the ground and others who have worked tirelessly to restore power to all those who have been cut off.
“In this day and age, it is vital that measures are put in place to not only repair damaged infrastructure rapidly, but to ensure through ongoing repairs and maintenance that the necessary resilience is place to ensure that substantial outages of this nature cannot occur, and it is essential that lessons are learned from this.”
Anyone still experiencing issues or in need of further support, should contact Electricity North West by dialling 105 from their landline or mobile. If anyone is still struggling to get in touch with Electricity North West please write to [email protected] with your name, address and the nature of your issue.
Those in the Ribble Valley who have lost power for over 48 hours are also entitled to compensation at a rate of £70 for the first 48 hours and £70 for every subsequent 12 hours, up to a maximum of £700. Electricity North West should contact you directly if you are eligible. Further information is available on the Ofgem website at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/check-compensation-rules-power-cut-or-supply-problem