Effort to restore power to West Side homes

Scottish Hydro workers straighten the hydro pole which was blown sideways by Saturday's storms in Gulberwick. Photo: Kevin Jones
Scottish Hydro workers straighten the hydro pole which was blown sideways by Saturday’s storms in Gulberwick. Some homes on the West Side were still without power on Monday. Photo: Kevin Jones

Hydro engineers are busy restoring power to more than 300 properties in the West Side following hurricane force winds.

Three hundred and fifty customers at Bixter were affected this morning, but by lunchtime the figure was brought down to 82.

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution say the fault was due to winds measured at 105mph and a broken insulator on the overhead lines.

It is hoped the remaining customers will be reconnected by 2pm.

The latest news follows a hectic weekend for Hydro engineers, with many properties cut off across the isles over the weekend. Engineers were hampered by the appalling conditions which prevented them from carrying out their work safely.

Alan Broadbent, director of engineering at SHEPD, said: “Where ever it was safe to do so, our engineers worked through the night to carry out repairs. This really has become a fight with the weather – we have the people, the resources, the commitment, but what we really need is a bit of luck for the weather to let us do our job and bring comfort to our customers who had to endure such appalling disruption. I would again like to apologise to them for this.”

Schools have also faced heavy disruption today with many either closing their doors early or not opening at all as gale force winds continue to bite.

Closing this afternoon were Skeld, Ollaberry and Dunrossness schools, as well as the junior highs at Baltasound, Sandwick and Mid Yell. Brae High School is closing at 2pm.

Whiteness, Whalsay and Cunningsburgh schools also closed their doors, while the school at Skerries remained shut all day.

Transport issues have also caused problems, with disruption to inter-island ferry services and bus routes.
Passengers have been advised to check the voicebank number before travelling.

The disruption is also being felt at NorthLink. The Hjaltland arrived in Lerwick at 6:30am this morning. She was scheduled for departure at 7pm sailing for Aberdeen – but that sailing has now been cancelled.

Meanwhile, tomorrow’s scheduled departure of the Hrossey from Aberdeen is being reviewed.

Freight services have also been affected, as have flights to and from Sumburgh Airport. This morning arrivals from Aberdeen, Bergen and Inverness were all cancelled, as well as several outgoing services.

Meanwhile, SSE engineers have been busy restoring power to over 120,000 homes across the North of Scotland. The regular media updates no longer list any properties in the isles without power, although properties in Ross-shire and Sutherland, the Inverness area,  Western Isles and Caithness are still encountering difficulties.


Add Your Comment
  • Karen Angus

    • January 12th, 2015 19:30

    I think we should add Hydro engineers to the list of professions that come under the category of “Heroes”, which includes fishermen, farmers, fire fighters, police, ambulance / Paramedics… people that risk life and limb in the normal course of their daily work to provide everyone with food, shelter, warmth and safety.

    A big thank you to the men & women that braved the storms to get folks power back on!


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