29 December 2023

Storm Gerrit updates

UPDATE 10am 29.12.23

SSEN engineers managed to get around half the people who were still off supply late last night reconnected between midnight and 1am this morning, meaning fewer families were without power overnight. They’ve now reconnected more than 45,000 homes across Scotland and in Aberdeenshire around 313 customers are still awaiting reconnection.

Food vans will remain at the following locations until 4pm today:

Welfare: Remember you can pop into any of our Live Life Aberdeenshire leisure facilities for a shower, get some hot water for a cuppa or charge your mobile devices https://www.livelifeaberdeenshire.org.uk/

Flooding: SEPA has removed its flood warning for Kintore as the River Don continues to recede and levels are expected to continue to fall. However please note - there is more heavy rain forecast later today and tomorrow which could see levels rise quickly given surrounding land may already be saturated.

Roads closures:

C138B - Road into Pennan (structural blocks at landslip location being installed today - expected reopening later today)

C2S - Mill of Eden

The A96 at Huntly has now reopened.

Housing/Schools: We are working through repairs to our housing stock – largely roof repairs/leaks – and we will be carrying out a full inspection of the schools estate in the coming week ahead of term time.

Winter maintenance: Primary routes were treated last night but overnight temperatures were far milder than forecast. As such planned treatment of secondary and footways are not being undertaken in most areas this morning – the exception being in Kincardine and Mearns where secondaries will get a pre-treatment ahead of forecasted weather.

Weather: Scattered wintry showers from the north today, some heavy and frequent rain. Further wintry showers this evening, but drier and clearer tonight. Road surface temperatures widely below zero with the risk if ice overnight. Sunny spells and the odd wintry shower tomorrow morning.

UPDATE 5PM 28.12.23

 

In the aftermath of Storm Gerrit, it’s an improving picture across much of Aberdeenshire.

Teams from SSEN continue to make good progress in restoring power to customers in the North of Scotland.

Supplies have been successfully restored to more than 34,000 customers – but around 1,500 properties are still without power in the north-east area. We will continue to share SSEN messaging around locations of welfare vans tomorrow.

Our roads teams are making good progress with the clearing of routes closed due to flooding or fallen trees, but some roads do remain closed and please bear with us as they continue their efforts. Amey has confirmed that the A96 trunk road at Huntly remains closed today although there are advertised diversions through the town.

SEPA has warned that while river levels at Kintore have peaked and are now receding, levels will remain high throughout today (Thurs).

Significant water levels remain likely on the B977 and surrounding agricultural land adjacent to the river and there is also still a risk of flooding to Castle Hill and Kingsfield Road.

Remain vigilant and remember, it is your responsibility to take actions which help protect yourself and your property.

Meanwhile, there’s an updated SEPA flood alert for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City with a combination of high tides and high winds bringing a risk of localised flooding from waves to low lying land and roads in exposed coastal locations today.

We were made aware of a landslip on the main road into Pennan on Wednesday evening, with the extent of the slip requiring closure of the road with immediate effect on safety grounds.

A further site visit was carried out this morning and a temporary solution developed through the construction of a temporary wall using precast ‘lego’ blocks. This should provide an adequate restraint to the bottom of the slip while allowing sufficient room for vehicles to pass and emergency services have been duly advised. We hope the road will reopen to road users tomorrow (Fri). Further investigations will be carried out in due course to identify a permanent solution to the issue.

Weatherwise it’s going to get increasingly breezy with outbreaks of rain overnight with sleet across higher roads – we could see 3-5cm of snow the ski roads tonight.

Road surface temperatures are going to fall widely below zero with a high risk of ice and hoar frost and the majority of priority routes will be getting treated this afternoon with remaining areas on standby should treatment be required.

However, the sheer volume of water still on the network may impact on the effectiveness of the treatment, so please take care if you are out on the roads tonight and tomorrow and please drive to the conditions.

The entire fleet will also be out from 5.30am tomorrow morning, with footway treatment commencing from around 7am and secondary routes from 8am.

To see the council’s planned gritting for each day, go to: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/roads/winter-maintenance/gritting-routes

SSEN updates via Powertrack https://powertrack.ssen.co.uk/powertrack#MR4619

SEPA advice and information at sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup   

Latest weather warnings here https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/uk-warnings

 

UPDATE 11.46AM 28.12.23

We can advise that Watermill Coaches services are all running as normal except for the following:

Service 49: Missing out the Keithhall area due to flooding and access at Inverurie. This will continue until access is cleared.

Service 52 (Ellon town service): Unable to serve Esslemont circle earlier today (Thurs) but will serve as soon as the water has cleared and buses can get through.

Meanwhile, the Smith and Sons Coaches Service 26 (Stonehaven – Laurencekirk/Luthermuir) has resumed as normal.

 

UPDATE 9.15AM 28.12.23

By way of update, SSEN Distribution teams continued to work throughout last night to restore power to customers in the north of Scotland in the wake of Storm Gerrit.

As of 9.45pm, supplies had been successfully restored to almost 25,000 customers, with just over 16,000 further properties currently off supply, mainly due to faults which occurred yesterday afternoon.

The widespread extent of the damage, the ongoing adverse weather conditions, and the challenges accessing faults due to fallen trees, flooding, and road closures, together mean that full network restoration will take time.

SSEN are advising that some customers in rural areas may be off supply for up to 48 hours, particularly in the north east which felt the brunt of Storm Gerrit later this afternoon.

They have located welfare vans in areas where the power will not be restored to provide hot meals from 9am this morning at the following locations:

Locations details of five further hot food vans they plan to deploy will be provided in the morning.

As part of SSEN’s support package, customers who will be without power for more than 12 hours are entitled to £30 per person for every day without power, to cover the cost of food and drink. People should keep hold of their receipts and claim costs back at www.ssen.co.uk/stormclaim

In addition, customers on its Priority Service Register can claim reasonable costs for alternative accommodation if it is expected they will be without power for over 24 hours. Support with booking accommodation can be provided if needed.

SSEN are also reminding people not to go near any damage to equipment they might find. Instead, this should be reported by calling 105, or via Power Track Website, and engineers will investigate as soon as possible.

 

UPDATE 3PM 27.12.23

We can confirm that we have closed the flood gates at Stonehaven as a precautionary measure

A number of properties in Aberdeenshire are without power.

All household recycling centres are now closed today.

All vaccination centres are closing at 2:30pm today.

All service points will be closed from 3pm.

It is best to only go out and about if necessary.

For information on any disruption to bin collections, keep an eye on www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/binsdisruptions