Hundreds of residents in villages surrounding Salisbury were left without power for nearly two days due to extreme winds.

The weekend saw gusts of up to 74mp in the Salisbury Plain area.

Gale-force winds on Sunday morning (October 31) caused trees to be blown into overhead lines, according to the area’s energy supplier, SSE.

The power was turned off in 337 properties in the Newton Toney area, and 435 properties in the Gomeldon area.

According to SSE, the safety equipment, which automatically turns off the power if the line is struck or damaged, activated on its overhead network at Park House in the Newton Toney area and Boscombe Down shortly after 9am on Sunday.

The winds had a significant impact on the network, and made the work to restore supplies challenging.

A Newton Tony resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said her household was “completely cut off” from power from 9am on Sunday morning until 10pm on Monday.

She said: “I’ve got a disabled son and we had to shower him in cold water on Monday. 

“There were all these villages freezing, with no heating, hot water or lights, and we were like that for so long.

“Everything in my freezer has gone in the bin. We had to live off takeaways, had no access to hot drinks.

“We were frozen. We had no central heating for all that time.”

Another Newton Tony resident, Julie Clark, was without power for 37 hours.

The 65-year-old, who lives with her 97-year-old mother, said: “I have so much admiration for the men and women who go out and try and fix these things for us in horrendous conditions. 

“It was still raining very hard when they tried to fix all of this, and for them to be trying to put cables up and fix things, it’s absolutely marvellous.”

Jo Niven, SSEN’s Head of Customer Operations for the region, said: “The impact of Sunday’s weather event was significant across our network, with wind gusts of 74mph recorded in the Salisbury Plains; our overhead equipment bore the brunt of these gale-force speeds, with significant damage caused by falling trees. 

“I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as our engineers, tree-cutters and overhead lines teams worked hard in challenging conditions to restore supplies.”

The company added that, by re-routing supplies where they could, engineers restored power to 332 Gomeldon properties in stages throughout the course of Sunday.

Due to the complexity of the repairs for the remaining 93 customers, mobile generation was brought in as an interim power supply.

In Newton Toney, work to restore power was particularly challenging as the network was damaged at four different locations in the area.

When it became apparent on Sunday that power would remain off overnight in properties in Newton Toney, SSE says it contacted customers to offer support with additional welfare and alternative accommodation, and staff were in regular contact with all affected customers during the time their power was off.


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