Storm Arwen: Armed Forces Deployed Following ‘Extensive And Catastrophic’ Damage
The armed forces are being deployed in Scotland following ‘catastrophic’ damage caused by Storm Arwen.
Armed forces minister James Heappey has announced that more than 130 soldiers and marines will be deployed to assist in the Grampian area of Scotland, which has been cut off as a result of the storm.
The forces will work in teams of 10 as they attempt to reach around 4,000 homes to offer reassurance to thousands of residents still left without power due to the ‘extensive and catastrophic’ damage caused by the storm.
Soldiers are tasked with helping a total of 12 villages cut off by the storm; namely Aboyne, Alford, Banchory, Banff, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff and Westhill.
The news comes after council bosses approached the UK government for help in the wake of Storm Arwen, which unleashed winds of up to 90mph.
A statement released by Aberdeenshire Council, per The Daily Record, explained:
Following a formal approach to the UK Government for assistance, around 120 military personnel will be arriving in Aberdeenshire this morning to support our ongoing resilience efforts in the aftermath of Storm Arwen.
The troops will focus on welfare checks on the ground within those communities still impacted by loss of power and will supplement what our own teams have been doing since the weekend.
We continue to appreciate all the wonderful examples of community assistance which continue to be evident across the region – whether it be supplies of hot food and drinks, checking on elderly residents and neighbours or helping to deliver supplies.
Thank you for your all your endeavours and rest assured we continue to work tirelessly to provide the support our communities require at this challenging time.
Approximately 3,100 people are still off power, according to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), which distributes power to 3.7 million homes in central southern England and the north of Scotland.
The power company described the storm damage as a ‘once in a generation event’, BBC News reports.
Meanwhile, Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) apologised to those left without power, saying the company understood the ‘stress and inconvenience’ caused by the power cuts.
This week, Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed the Bellwin Scheme had been activated, giving local councils financial support from the Scottish government in a bid to deal with emergency incidents.
Areas most affected by the storm include Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perthshire and Stirlingshire.
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