AROUND 100,000 homes are still without power this afternoon after the extreme weather overnight caused outages across the North of the country.

Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity distribution network across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, said Storm Arwen had caused significant damage to its power network in the region.

The storm force winds which started at 6pm and brought windspeeds of up to 100mph, caused power cuts for more than 219,000 customers, predominantly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear area.

The storm continues to hit across the network company’s operating area with continued severe gales of more than 65mph forecast until around 6pm this evening.

The storm has already caused more than 530 instances of damage since 6pm yesterday, which will require repair.

More than 110,000 customers’ power supplies were successfully restored by 11.45am this morning but many homes and businesses will have no electricity until tomorrow.

Read more: Storm Arwen live: North East and Yorkshire wakes up to chaos

Northern Powergrid said its teams are continually assessing the scale of the impact and repairs required, ensuring it responds to emergency situations throughout and prioritising its response to ensure that faults which will get the most possible customers back on supply are tackled first as well as prioritising vulnerable customers.

Continued gale force winds mean it is still remains unsafe for its teams to climb and repair any damage caused to overhead power lines mainly by fallen trees and flying debris.

Travel in some areas is also proving very difficult and unsafe due to the ongoing weather conditions.

The network operator has mobilised its teams but it is still hampered by the conditions.

As a result of the ongoing situation, Northern Powergrid expects that many customers will be off supply for the majority of the day and into tomorrow, or when it is safe to carry out restoration and repairs.

Wherever possible, Northern Powergrid engineers will continue to switch electricity through alternative routes on its network to get customers back on supply.

We have all our resources in place and our priority is to deal with emergency situations, support our customers and ensure our people can work safely as soon as the conditions allow.

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s Major Incident Manager, said: “Storm Arwen is continuing to cause significant disruption to our network and the storm force winds are not expected to ease until later today.

“Our engineers continue to do everything possible to assess the scale of the damage and prioritise the extensive repairs required. We have all our resources in place and our priority is to deal with emergency situations, support our customers and ensure our people can work safely as soon as the conditions allow.

“Our contact centre is very busy and our website is experiencing issues due to the volume of customers using it. Our teams are doing everything possible to resolve this and we are continuing to provide updates on our social media channels which we encourage customers to share.

"Storm Arwen is the largest storm to impact our network since 2005 but our teams are experienced in responding in conditions like this.

"We thank our customers for their continued patience and would like to reassure them that we are doing all we can to get their power back on safely and as quickly as possible.”

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Northern Powergrid’s 24-hour contact centre has additional advisors who are offering customers support and advice. 

Customers can also use their mobile to visit Northern Powergrid’s Twitter (@northpowergrid) and Facebook pages where the company will continue to provide regular updates and advice to customers and local communities.

Priority Services Members are being kept updated as a priority.

If you, or a family member, are medically dependant on electricity please use NEDL's emergency contact options when calling 105.

We are coordinating with local resilience partners who are providing support to local communities affected by the storm.

Northern Powergrid is continuing to warn local people who spot any damaged cables or equipment not to approach the area as equipment may still be live and pose a risk of electrocution.

Customers must contact the company immediately by calling 105.

Power cut advice and tips include:

• turn off electrical appliances at the socket (this is particularly important for heating or cooking appliances as your power could be restored at any time and potentially cause a safety hazard)

• keep one light switched on so you know when power is restored

• keep a battery or wind-up torch handy – they’re much safer than candles

• bookmark Northern Powergrid’s online power cut reporting service on your mobile devices – and add 105, the free power cut, to mobile phone contact details

• have a charged mobile phone with important numbers, including Northern Powergrid’s contact details, easily accessible.

• check on your elderly or sick neighbours and relatives

• ensure you have warm clothing and blankets handy and some food and drink in your home that does not require electricity to heat or prepare it

• only call 999 in the event of an emergency.