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Weather / Around 2,800 properties remain without power

Power has been restored to 1,000 properties in Unst and Yell

A photo from SSEN Distribution of December's power disruption.

AROUND 2,800 properties in Shetland remain without power – but progress has been made in some of the North Isles.

Engineers continue to work in extremely challenging conditions and have restored power to 1,000 properties in Unst, Gutcher and parts of Yell by repairing the main 33 kilovolt network throughout the course of today (Tuesday).

Areas which remain without supply following the snow and ice include Whalsay, Yell and the North and West Mainland.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution said it has mobilised additional support from the mainland, with around 70 operational colleagues making their way to support restoration efforts.

A representative for Serco NorthLink Ferries said the northbound ferry tonight is due to stop off in Kirkwall to pick up engineers. It came after disruption to flights at Sumburgh Airport.

While all efforts are focused on restoring supplies as soon as possible, full restoration remains likely to extend to the end of this week.

SSEN said damage to the network is “considerable and particularly extensive across the West of Mainland Shetland, and we’re mobilising large-scale generation to complement overhead line repairs”.

It said it is working closely with Shetland Islands Council, the Care for People Group and the Local Resilience Partnership to identify those most vulnerable and coordinate additional support. This includes making mobile generation facilities available to support the joint welfare effort.

Mark Macdonald, head of region at SSEN Distribution, said: “Our teams continue to battle ongoing challenging conditions and extensive damage to our network to restore power to customers, with around 1,000 properties successfully reconnected throughout the course of today.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we mobilise additional support from the mainland to assist with the restoration effort, with a 70-strong team on its way to Shetland now travel constraints have eased.

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“We’d like to thank NorthLink Ferries and Loganair for their ongoing support in getting our engineers to the islands as quickly as possible.

“I’d like to reassure customers we’re working to restore supplies as quickly as possible, liaising closely with our resilience partners to support the joint welfare effort. If anyone has any concerns for themselves or others, particularly family members of neighbours who may need extra support, I’d encourage them to give our teams a call on 105.”

The next update will be provided by SSEN mid-morning tomorrow (Wednesday).

Meanwhile the Scottish Government Resilience Room has met to discuss the impacts of power outages in Shetland.

Justice secretary Keith Brown said: “Our utmost priority must be to ensure that people, especially the most vulnerable, are safe and warm.

“SSEN have contacted all priority customers and Shetland Islands Council has identified vulnerable people who may need extra support. It is also considering how buildings such as community centres could be used to provide respite centres if needed.

“I would urge people to heed the Police Scotland advice to stay at home, find ways to stay warm, check in on neighbours, friends and family, and listen to the local radio or follow social media for updates.”

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