SSEN Engineers
SSEN Engineers. Image © Stuart Nicol Photography 2016.

Power distribution company SSEN has enacted ‘red alert’ preparations for Storm Eunice.

The company serves all electricity customers in Petersfield. It has an operational depot and a substation on Bedford Road in our town.

Customers in Petersfield who are registered as priority users have received a text of advice from the distributor today. Carers and parents of young chidren are among those who have been prioritised for this service.

The targeted message recommends customers prepare for a possible power cut with torches, warm clothes and blankets. They say any power cuts that happen could take longer than usual to repair because of the expected weather conditions.

All customers are recommended to save the power cut number to their phones. It’s 105.

It’s also recommended that we download the SSEN Powertrack app which relays information about any power cuts and the likely repair times.

One Shine Radio listener shared the priority message they received today with us…

SSEN priority user message
SSEN priority user message

Meanwhile, SSEN is finalising advances to its substation that add greater resilience to our local supply, after installing a new interconnector between Petersfield and the major National Grid site at Fernhurst.

Full statement from SSEN

In preparation for Storm Eunice moving across central southern England on Friday 18 February, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has now moved to Red Alert. The upgrade in status reflects the potential for gale force winds to cause widespread disruption and damage to electricity infrastructure across our southern operating area.

Named by the Met Office, who have issued an Amber warning, Storm Eunice is expected to track across central southern England from 9am on Friday morning, with wind speeds expected to build across the morning. At the peak of the storm in early afternoon, gusts are forecast to rise to in excess of 70mph in inland areas and up to 80mph in coastal locations, before receding by evening.

In advance of this severe weather, we have enacted our well-established resilience plans, and we are both increasing and moving additional resources to key locations in anticipation of any potential damage, including teams from our contract partners. We are also in contact with local resilience partners to aid preparations and co-ordinate any welfare requirements.

To support customers who may need extra help, we have sent ‘warn and inform’ texts to over 300,000 of our Priority Service Register customers in central southern England.

SSEN will continue to monitor weather forecasts and provide updates if the situation changes. If you see any damaged equipment, please keep a safe distance and report it to us by calling 105 or via our Power Track App, and engineers will investigate as soon as possible.

Richard Gough, Director of Distribution System Operations at SSEN, said:

“We have been monitoring Storm Eunice for a number of days, including tracking the predicted path and intensity of the storm as it reaches landfall. Although it is forecast to be relatively short in duration, the wind gusts associated with the weather front are significant and widespread disruption to power supplies is likely across our operating region.

“We’d like to reassure our customers that we are making every preparation for the arrival of this significant weather front and we have allocated teams of engineers to locations expected to experience the worst of the weather conditions, to ensure we are ready to respond as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“Customers on our Priority Services Register are being contacted proactively, but I’d encourage anyone with serious health concerns about potential disruption to power supplies to give our dedicated teams a call on 105, where additional support and guidance can be given to help you prepare.”

Customers are being encouraged to be prepared for the possibility of disruption to supplies by:

  • Saving the emergency power cut number – 105 – to their phone to report power cuts or damage to the electricity network
  • Downloading SSEN’s Power Track app which provides details of power cuts and restoration times. Customers can also report power cuts and network damage through the Power Track app
  • Going to SSEN’s website where there is a wealth of advice and information on how to deal with a power cut, or to chat live to one of SSEN’s advisors via its Webchat service
  • Following SSEN on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates

Priority Services Register 

Customers are eligible for the Priority Services Register if they:

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a disability
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60
  • Are categorised at ‘high risk’ or ‘extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus

For more information on our Priority Services Register, click here or call 0800 294 3259.