THOUSANDS of homes were left without power last night (January 14) as storms battered the country.
During the severe weather with wind speeds reaching 80mph across the south coast, more than 21,000 homes lost their electricity supply.
Travel was also disrupted across the Observer area, as debris fell on railway lines and roads were flooded.
Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) has now restored supply to more than 21,000 customers.
There are still some 42 customers currently without power across Portsmouth, Chichester and the Isle of Wight.
An SEPD spokesman said: “SEPD monitored the severe weather front five days in advance, and increased its resources across key locations in the region.
“Winds speeds of up 80mph battered parts of the electricity network from late last night through to early this morning. More than a thousand engineering and technical staff were mobilised to key parts of the network ahead of the severe weather. Staffing at customer call centres was also increased.”
Bev Keogh, head of operations, said: “We have invested £95m in strengthening the network ahead of this winter and on the whole it withstood the challenges posed by the severe weather. Where the wind was at its strongest, wind borne debris fell onto our power lines, causing supply to be disrupted. On occasions we had to isolate certain parts of the network to allow us to remove trees and other debris from the power lines.
“I would like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience this may have caused them.”
SEPD, which serves 2.9m customers, said it had worked with councils and emergency services to ensure its most vulnerable customers were looked after.
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