A major incident which was declared in the wake of Storm Arwen across County Durham, has been de-escalated, with power having now been restored to all residents affected by the storm.

The Strategic Co-ordination Group (SCG) for County Durham and Darlington declared the major incident last week, requesting additional resources to strengthen and accelerate the support provided to communities.

Following one of the worst storms in decades, the army was also drafted in, with around 80 soldiers from the Royal Lancers working alongside a range of partner organisations from the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) to carry out welfare checks, provide advice and information and offer support.

Working together they have visited more than 5,000 households, delivered care packages to hundreds of residents in need and helped support the county’s vulnerable residents.

At a meeting this afternoon, the SCG de-escalated the major incident. However, the partner organisations of the LRF continue to offer support to those who have been affected to aid recovery efforts.

John Hewitt, chief executive of Durham County Council and Chair of the SCG, said:

“We are pleased that power has now been restored to all residents whose supply was impacted by Storm Arwen and we would like to thank all those involved in supporting our communities.

“Our sincere thanks go to teams from all of our partner organisations, particularly community organisations and local businesses, who have done whatever possible to offer a range of advice and practical support. We would also like to thank the military for their additional support, which has enabled us to strengthen our response.

“While the worst of the impact of Storm Arwen thankfully appears to be over, we understand that the impact of this is going to be felt for some time. Residents can be reassured that they have our ongoing support throughout that recovery period for as long as they need it.”

Residents whose property was without power on or after Monday 29 November are reminded that they can claim financial assistance from Northern Powergrid. This includes the reasonable costs of alternative accommodation and food.

All customers without power on or after this date are eligible. Customers’ circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you require assistance, email [email protected].

Northern Powergrid has also said that it will be contacting customers affected by the power cuts to advise them as to how their bills will be affected. This will start now power has been restored to all affected properties.

To report a loss of power, including any issues with a generator, visit www.northernpowergrid.com – a map showing updated information on current power cuts is available at https://www.northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts.

If someone is without power and is vulnerable, call 105. Additional contact numbers are available for residents with a hearing or speech impairment. Full details are available at https://www.northernpowergrid.com/contact.

Meanwhile, the council is also advising residents to be on their guard against door-to-door callers offering repairs in the wake of the storm. It has encouraged people needing repairs to seek recommendations from family or friends, or to visit one of the recognised trade associations. More details can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/trustedtraderschemes.

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