Homes impacted by Storm Otto spend the night without power

Tree on a vehicle

Following Storm Otto, thousands of people in northern Scotland were without power on Friday night. .

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) reported that throughout the course of Saturday, its engineers had restored power to more than 43,000 properties.

By 20:00 GMT, fewer than 500 homes were still without power, according to the company, and hundreds were anticipated to remain disconnected throughout the night.

By Sunday night, SSEN hopes to reconnect everyone.

Parts of Kennethmont, Lonmay, Rathen, Oyne, Methlick, Glenbuchat, Kininmonth, Pitcaple, Insch, and nearby areas are affected, along with a large portion of Aberdeenshire.

Hot food and drinks are available from nearby mobile food vans.

Storm Otto, the season's first named storm, was characterized by strong winds that toppled trees and harmed a number of cars and buildings.

Numerous locations recorded wind speeds of at least 80 mph, and at Cairngorm Mountain, gusts of 120 mph were recorded.

Trees blocking numerous routes in Aberdeenshire caused delays or cancellations for trains, buses, and ferry services.

In the meantime, the Met Office has issued a yellow ice warning for portions of northern Scotland between Sunday night and early morning.

Chloe Alexander
At around 8:00 in the morning, Chloe Alexander's home in Hatton lost power.

The power went out at around 8:00 on Friday morning, according to Chloe Alexander, who resides in Hatton with her husband and two young children in a farmhouse.

In November 2021, they were also severely impacted by Storm Arwen.

According to her statement to BBC Scotland, "We have an 18-month-old and a four-year-old to consider so it's mainly concern for them, keeping them warm, making sure they've got food.".

"We lost power for four to five days in November of last year and a half due to Storm Arwen, so I didn't trust SSEN's response because they couldn't guarantee when the power would be restored.

"After the previous incident, they were assuring me every 24 hours, and my child was five months old at the time. Since my in-laws live in Peterhead, we were able to visit them last night because I was unsure when the power would come back on. ".

She added that compared to November 2021, SSEN's communication and response had been "much better.".

A total of 750 employees were reportedly responding to the storm's effects, and the company claimed to have hired additional staff to deal with the power outages.

Operations Director Mark Rough stated that SSEN had made "good progress" in restoring power.

We remain confident that the majority of impacted customers will have power restored today, with all customers expected to have power restored by tomorrow evening at the latest. Our teams will continue to work diligently into the evening to complete repairs and restore power to those who remain off supply.

"We continue to collaborate closely with our resilience partners to provide our customers with the support they need, especially those on our Priority Services Register. We also encourage anyone who thinks they might need more help to get in touch with our devoted teams at 105, the power outage helpline. ".

Greg Clarke, a member of SSEN, stated that since the storm season of 2017, the organization has been working hard to "improve the resilience" of the network.

We've made a significant number of improvements, according to Mr. Clarke. Everything from making sure we're giving our customers more accurate restoration times so that those who will be without supply for extended periods of time can make informed decisions about finding alternative arrangements. ".

Kenny McKenzie
Kenny McKenzie, a resident of Mintlaw, stated that he planned to move to Fraserburgh after losing power at his home.

Kenny McKenzie reported to BBC Scotland that he lost power at 7:45 on Friday after a tree was blown down outside his home in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire.

Everything ceased to function when there was no communication, internet, or mobile phone, he claimed.

It was wonderful to have coffee first thing in the morning thanks to one of our neighbors who has a gas stove.

"Hopefully, we're traveling to Fraserburgh because the city has power, so we'll wait and see if a bus arrives; it appears that all of the buses have stopped, though no one is sure why. ".

Customers who have been without supplies for more than 12 hours may be eligible to receive up to £30 in reimbursement for food each day. Receipt retention is advised for customers.

On Friday, more than 100 schools in Aberdeenshire were closed, and nearly 50 in Highland and a few in Moray were also impacted.

school roof missing
Burnside Primary in Angus suffered roof damage.

The Burnside Primary School building was deemed unsafe for students and staff by Angus Council due to serious roof damage.

Remote learning will be available to kids in grades P1 through 7 starting on February 22 when classes resume after the midterm break.

In Aberdeen, North East Scotland College also ceased operations as a result of roof damage to its city campus.

Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire, recorded gusts of 83 mph, and Lossiemouth, Moray, and Tain in the Highlands recorded gusts of 80 mph.

The Danish Met Office gave the storm the name Otto. The same name has been adopted by the UK Met Office.

Since Franklin in February, it is the first named storm to make landfall in the UK.

The named storm season, which is run by the Met Office from September to September, aims to increase public awareness of severe weather.

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