Members of the Armed Forces carry care packs in Weardale, County Durham, to hand to residents who have been without power for a week since Storm Arwen 031221 CREDIT PA, ALAMY
Troops carry care packs to give to residents in Weardale, County Durham (Picture: PA/Alamy).
Army

Storm Arwen: Army called in to County Durham as personnel continue support in north Scotland

The deployment to County Durham comes a day after soldiers and marines were sent to north-east Scotland.

Members of the Armed Forces carry care packs in Weardale, County Durham, to hand to residents who have been without power for a week since Storm Arwen 031221 CREDIT PA, ALAMY
Troops carry care packs to give to residents in Weardale, County Durham (Picture: PA/Alamy).

The British Army has been called in to help support residents in County Durham affected by power cuts following Storm Arwen.

Eighty-three troops from the Royal Lancers, based at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, were deployed to the county on Friday.

Durham County Council said the servicemen and women will be based in Weardale to help local people, carrying out door-to-door visits to check on residents' wellbeing and providing help and support where needed. 

The troops' deployment follows a request from County Durham and Darlington Local Resilience Forum (LRF) for additional resources, the council said.

Northern Powergrid, the electricity distribution network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, said 6,000 customers remained off supply at 11pm on Thursday, though power has been restored to 234,000 others since Storm Arwen swept across the country on Friday 26 November.

More than 130 military personnel, including marines, continue to provide support to north-east Scotland where 1,600 Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) customers remained off supply at 7am on Friday.

Personnel, from units based in Scotland including 39 Engineer Regiment, 3 Scots and 45 Commando, deployed to the Grampian region on Thursday.

Aberdeenshire Council said that in its area the Army will be based out of police stations in Ellon, Turiff, Inverurie and Banchory, with three teams of 10 at each.

SSEN said power has been restored to more than 129,000 customers since Storm Arwen first struck, causing what managing director Chris Burchell described as "catastrophic damage to the electricity network".

The company said properties still without power are mainly located in rural and isolated communities, with Aberdeenshire the main area still affected.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace: "We are always ready to rapidly provide extra support for communities across the UK in their time of need. 

"Today we have deployed 83 personnel from the Royal Lancers based at Catterick to support Durham County Council with door-to-door welfare checks in the communities impacted by Storm Arwen.

"Armed Forces personnel are also providing support in Scotland, where 134 personnel deployed yesterday following a request from Aberdeenshire Council."