Emergency engineers and road clearing crews across Kintyre, Arran and Dumfries and Galloway are continuing to work flat out to help individuals and communities affected by the weekend’s severe weather, Transport Minster Keith Brown said today.
He visited the Isle of Arran to see first-hand efforts to reconnect power to thousands of island residents and to clear drifting snow from blocked local roads.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) expects that the some of the 5,000 homes who are currently without power in Kintyre and Arran will be linked up to emergency generation this evening.
SSE has drafted in over 400 engineering staff to Kintyre and Arran and has six helicopters operating in the area.
The company have installed several dozen large and small generators in the affected areas to provide emergency power to thousands of affected homes and businesses, as well as catering vans to provide free food and drink to local residents.
Another Scottish Government Resilience (SGoRR) meeting took place this morning to liaise with all key partners and help co-ordinate the response, the sixth meeting since Friday afternoon.
Mr Brown, who took part in the SGoRR meeting, said:
“Across the affected parts of Scotland, emergency power engineers and road crews are working extremely hard to restore electricity and clear transport access as quickly as possible.
“The level of multi-agency co-operation, and the support received from local communities and voluntary groups, is to be highly commended.
“Today, on Arran, I met with police and SSE engineers who are working round the clock to help residents.
“Dozens of generators have been brought onto the island and SSE has arranged for food vans to distribute free hot meals to customers who continue to be without power.
“I also spoke to local people on Arran. It is heartening to see the evident community spirit with islanders helping each other cope in the horrendous weather conditions.
“I know that the same joint working partnerships and community spirit are evident in Kintyre, which has faced the brunt of the severe weather impacts.
“And we heard in the SGoRR meeting of the situation in Dumfries and Galloway where 300 households remain off supply, though Scottish Power are confident that they will be able to restore electricity there in the near future.
“The Scottish Government will continue to do everything we can to support local responders and help co-ordinate the support and help they need until all services are restored.”
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“I know this is a difficult time for farmers, particularly as it’s currently the lambing season.
“That’s why we are speaking to NFUS and other stakeholders to assess the extent of the problem and what support the Scottish Government could offer.”