News

Recovery from Storm Arwen

Published: 06 Dec 2021 14:45

Lessons to be learned for the future.

As power is fully restored to all those who experienced outages as a result of Storm Arwen, the Deputy First Minister John Swinney has thanked everyone involved in the recovery effort, and committed the Scottish Government to take forward a lessons-learned exercise.

Mr Swinney said:

“Storm Arwen has been a more significant event than the ‘Beast from the East’ in 2018, requiring a complexity of response that we have not seen for a number of years. It was almost unprecedented in its severity, and I want to express my sympathies to everybody who has been impacted.

“Throughout the course of the recovery effort, the Scottish Government resilience committee met on several occasions and there have been extensive discussions daily—several times a day—with the power companies.

“While engineers have been working round the clock to get everyone back on supply, we have supported local resilience partnerships to help provide advice and welfare support to those affected. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all those who have been working in very difficult conditions and for prolonged periods to restore utility supplies and support affected communities and households.

“This includes voluntary organisations, local businesses and community groups of volunteers, some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting last week when I visited the village of Monymusk in Aberdeenshire last week.

“This has been a really difficult time, and there are lessons for all of us to learn. That is why I announced the Scottish Government will lead, through our resilience arrangements, a lessons-learned exercise.

“A key theme of these lessons will be around communication. Telecoms in particular have faced significant challenges due to Storm Arwen, and that is something we want to address for the future. We already have strong and robust arrangements in place to manage and address weather-related resilience issues at a national, regional and local level but I want to ensure that our arrangements continue to evolve and strengthen, in order to avoid severe impact from weather events such as we have seen over the past ten days.

“I acknowledge that Ofgem will be carrying out a review into the impact of Storm Arwen the role of the network companies in maintaining the resilience of the system and their emergency response, including their communications with customers.

“I welcome the steps that are being taken to enhance the amount of compensation available to those people who have been affected. I would encourage all those who were off supply to ensure they are accessing all of the compensation to which they are entitled.”