UK Power Networks says 40,000 people in South East without power due to storm

High winds overnight have caused extensive damage to power lines across the South East, interrupting electricity supplies to about 40,000 people, according to UK Power Networks.

That number is likely to rise this morning as more damage is reported.

UK Power Networks engineers worked through the night and will continue today, to repair the damage and restore power as quickly as is safely possible.

The company will be carrying out helicopter patrols to check overhead power lines.

Customer service staff and volunteers from the British Red Cross, which works in partnership with UK Power Networks, will also be on site helping people in the worst affected areas.

Since midnight, advisors have spoken to about 300 people to keep them updated as repair work progressed.

People can report any power cuts and damaged lines on free helplines: in the South East call 0800 783 8866.

You can also see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and follow the company on twitter for updates. Anyone spotting a damaged power line is urged to report it, but stay well clear.

If you call during a major incident you are likely to hear an automatic message which recognises the area you are calling from and gives information about known faults in that area. You have an option to speak to an advisor too.

A spokesperson for the company said: “UK Power Networks made careful and robust preparations for the stormy weather.

“Senior staff are in close contact with the Met Office.

“The electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can see wind-borne debris being blown onto our overhead power lines.

“We activated the early stages of our emergency plans on Friday and brought in additional staff covering engineering, technical and call centre roles.”