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News / Efforts to rebuild Shetland’s electricity network continue but 2,400 properties still without power

Stock photo supplied by SSEN Distribution.

SSEN engineers have said they are confident they can re-connect more customers later today (Thursday) as work to rebuild Shetland’s electricity network continues.

As of early this afternoon, 2,400 properties, mainly in the north and the west of the islands, continue to be without electricity.

Most lost power during heavy snowfall on Monday afternoon which brought down many power lines.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution said that a 125-strong team is currently working in Brae, Voe, Firth, Gremista, Yell and the West Mainland.

Additional crews arrived from the mainland first thing this morning, with lorries of electricity poles, overhead line, resources and equipment also arriving on the freight ferry.

In the West Mainland and in parts of Voe, where comprehensive line rebuilds are required, engineers will connect large-scale mobile generation sets to restore power to customers.

Restoration remains likely to extend to the end of this week, with areas experiencing significant network damage extending into the weekend, the company said.

Head of region Mark Macdonald said SSEN Distribution was working closely with the council and the local resilience partnership to clear roads of snow and ice which are causing significant and severe access issues in parts of the West Mainland in particular.

“We’ve deployed helicopters in the area today to assess the extent of the damage, where our teams are facing significant challenges in carrying out foot patrols,” he said.

“I’d continue to encourage customers to visit warm welfare locations, organised in collaboration with our partners, which are serving hot drinks, offering kitchen facilities, and providing a warm space for customers without power.

“I’d also urge anyone who has any concerns for themselves or others, particularly family members or neighbours who may need extra support, to give our teams a call on 105.

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“We continue to monitor weather forecasts to assess the potential impact of further adverse weather conditions on our network and our restoration efforts.”

Welfare centres are open at:

  • Walls Public Hall, Walls, Shetland, ZE2 9PF – open 24 hours to provide hot drinks and a warm hub.
  • Symbister Hall, Whalsay, Symbister, Whalsay, ZE2 9AA – open 10am until 7pm for hot drinks and a warm hub, catering van also on site.
  • Isbister Public Hall, Whalsay, ZE2 9AJ – open 24 hours, providing a warm hub, use of kitchen facilities and broadband.
  • Skeld Hall, Skeld, ZE2 9NL – open 12pm until 8pm to provide a warm hub and hot drinks.
  • South Nesting Hall, Skellister, Shetland, ZE2 9PP – open 10am until dark offering hot drinks and a warm space.
  • North Ness Public Hall, Ulsta, Yell, ZE2 9BD – open from 9am until 7pm to provide a warm space and hot drinks.
  • Bixter Hall, Bixter, ZE2 9LU – open 10am until 6pm to provide a warm hub and hot drinks (please call 01595 810670 to confirm if the hall is open before travelling).
  • Sandness Public Hall, Sandness, ZE2 9PL – open 12pm until 3pm to provide a warm space and hot drinks.
  • Walls Shop, Walls, ZE2 9PF – normal opening hours, fuel station and shop.
  • Skellister Stores, Catfirth, South Nesting, ZE2 9PP – normal opening hours, fuel station and shop.

Welfare centres also remain open in areas where power has been restored:

  • Aith Public Hall – open and providing a warm space and hot drinks.
  • Speldiburn Community Café, Gunnista Road, Bressay, ZE2 9EN – open 24 hours.
  • St Magnus Bay Hotel, Hilswick, ZE2 9RW – open 24 hours.
  • Tingwall Hall, The Strand, Gott, ZE2 9SE – currently open.
  • Voe Public Hall, Isles Road, Voe, ZE2 9PT – open 9am until 5pm offering a warm space and a shower room for personal care.
  • Whiteness and Weisdale Hall, Strom Road End, ZE2 9LG – open on request.
  • RNLI Aith Lifeboat, Bixter, ZE2 9NA – open on request.
  • Mossbank Public Hall, ZE2 9RB – open on request.

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