Storm Doris Blacks Out Britain

Here is the United Kingdom Met Office’s severe weather warning map for today:

According to the Met Office forecast for the West Midlands:

Some very strong winds are expected on Thursday in association with storm Doris with gusts of 60-70 mph likely, and 70-80 mph on coasts and hills.

There is still some uncertainty about the track of storm Doris, but increasing confidence that there will be widespread disruption across parts of England and Wales.

Earlier this morning we took a snapshot of Western Power Distribution’s live power cut map. It looked like this:

It’s now 10 AM on Thursday February 23rd, and WPD’s map now looks like this:

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 12:15]

It’s now 12:15 PM on Thursday February 23rd. Over 20,000 properties are now without electric power in Western Power Distribution’s West Midlands region alone:

Electricity Northwest are tweeting helpful information to their online customers:

So are UK Power Networks:

However if you’ve just had a power cut you’d need to have a UPS for your PC in order to read those helpful messages! Or a fully charged mobile device with nearby comms towers still powered up!

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 13:15]

It’s now 13:15 on Thursday February 23rd. Over 30,000 properties are now without electric power across Western Power Distribution’s East and West Midlands regions:

Scottish & Southern Energy Networks have issued a news release:

SSEN engineers are making good progress in reconnecting customers affected by damage to overhead lines and network equipment. Since midnight, SSEN engineers have successfully restored power to over 22,000 homes, with approximately 5,000 homes currently without power. All faults are fully resourced and all customers are expected to be restored tonight.

The worst of the conditions have been observed in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire where a wind gust of 65mph was recorded in Odiham.

SSEN has more than 1,000 engineering, technical and support staff on duty. Ahead of the storm, engineering teams were mobilised to key locations to minimise disruption and inconvenience to customers.

Customer service teams have been contacting over 7,000 customers on our Priority Service Register to check on their wellbeing in case they need additional help.

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 14:45]

It’s now 14:45 on Thursday February 23rd. Over 45,000 properties are now without electric power across Western Power Distribution’s East and West Midlands regions:

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 16:00]

It’s now 16:00 on Thursday February 23rd. WPD’s live power cut map is down for maintenance:

It’s obviously fairly breezy across the United Kingdom today! Let’s take a look at the current UK electricity generation mix at the moment, courtesy of GridWatch:

Western Power Distribution have issued a severe weather update:

We are currently exceptionally busy within WPD with the East and West Midlands area being especially affected in particular by the effects of Storm Doris so far.

Issued on: Thursday 23rd February – 3pm

The West Midlands has been significantly affected with almost 22,000 customers currently off supply with the vast majority being affected between 09:00 and 12:00 with Hereford, Ludlow, Worcester, Telford and Stoke suffering the worst effects.

During the last hour the fault rate in East Midlands has picked up where we have around 10,000 without power as the storm is now tracking eastwards as expected.

Our engineers are currently working hard to restore supplies as quickly and safely as possible, and we have additional staff in our Contact Centres, Control Rooms and operational depots.

The South West and South Wales areas were impacted earlier today, but not exceptionally so. Both areas have fewer than 3,000 customers affected and all incidents are currently resourced and being worked on.

Electricity North West have issued a press release, which begins:

Engineers from Electricity North West are working in difficult conditions today to restore power as Storm Doris hits the North West.

The region’s power network operator has restored supplies to around 5,000 properties throughout the morning following the Met Office’s amber weather warning for severe gales of 70 to 80mph and a yellow warning for snow to hit the North West today.

Around 2,500 properties remain without power as flying debris has hit lines and high winds make access difficult for repair teams. Properties are affected mainly in Lancashire, Manchester and the Peak district including250 properties currently without power in Horwich, Bolton.

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 17:00]

It’s now 17:00 on Thursday February 23rd. WPD’s live power cut map is still down. However SSEN have issued a 4 PM update:

SSEN engineers are making good progress in reconnecting customers affected by damage to overhead lines and network equipment. Since midnight, power has been restored to over 29,000 homes, with approximately 8,000 homes currently without power. All faults are fully-resourced and we are working to restore power to all customers tonight.

The worst of the conditions have been observed in Oxfordshire, where around 5,000 customers are currently without power, as well as parts of Berkshire and Hampshire.

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 18:30]

It’s now 18:30 on Thursday February 23rd. WPD’s live power cut map is still down! SP Energy Networks have now issued a press release:

The MET Office Amber warnings remain in place until 8pm tonight as Storm Doris continues to cause significant impact across the UK.

SP Energy Networks distribution licence area in Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales has experienced extreme weather conditions today, with wind gusts of over 90mph experienced in exposed areas. Over the course of today we have restored power to over 50,000 customers impacted by this severe weather.

Our restoration efforts have been hampered today by the gale force winds making it unsafe for our engineering teams to work at height. The winds have now reduced somewhat, albeit we are still seeing wind gusts in excess of 50mph in exposed areas.
However, where it is safe to do so, our restoration efforts will continue this evening and tonight. As a result of the extensive damage experienced today, we now expect that some customers will be without power overnight.

Where possible, we will endeavour to make contact with those customers impacted to discuss welfare options. We have been working with the Red Cross who will help support our vulnerable customers impacted by today’s events.

Electricity North West have issued another press release:

Engineers from Electricity North West will work into the evening and through the night to restore the final properties affected by Storm Doris.

The region’s power network operator has restored supplies to around 6,700 properties throughout the day following the winds of 70 to 80mph in the North West.

800 properties remain without power in a number of small pockets, mainly across Lancashire as flying debris and fallen trees have hit power lines in the region.

Western Power Distribution have issued another severe weather update:

The current situation within WPD is still exceptionally busy, with the East Midlands, and even more so the West Midlands areas still having large numbers of customers off supply due to the effects of Storm Doris that passed through our area today.

Issued on: Thursday 23rd February – 6pm

There are approximately 20,000 customers in the West Midlands off supply and we have restored around a further 20,000 throughout the day. As of the last update the worst affected areas have been Hereford, Ludlow, Worcester, Telford and Stoke.

There are currently fewer than 10,000 customers off supply in the East Midlands with us having restored a further 10,000 approximately throughout the day.

Whilst busy, the volume of faults affecting the South West and South Wales have not been too bad, with all incidents being worked on and resourced. There are currently fewer than 1,500 customers off throughout the two areas and staff from those areas have been moved into the Midlands to assist where required.

Our contact centre has dealt with over 22,000 calls from customers with an average speed of response time of 6.7 seconds.

We have had one helicopter airborne today flying from Nottingham that has inspected two EHV faults in Stoke and Telford. Tomorrow, all four aircraft will be available from first light to aid and assist in repairs as required.

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 20:00]

It’s now 20:00 on the evening of Thursday February 23rd. WPD’s live power cut map is operational again, and it’s moved to a dedicated subdomain! Here is what it reveals:

 

[Edit - Feb 23rd 22:30]

This will be our last update for today, at 22:30 on the evening of Thursday February 23rd. First of all WPD’s live power cut map, zoomed in on the Midlands:

Next the 20:00 update from Scottish and Southern:

Since midnight, power has been restored to over 30,000 homes, with approximately 4,000 homes currently without power. All faults are fully-resourced and engineers are working to restore power to all customers tonight.

Storm Doris brought severe winds, with gusts of up to 65mph, across the region. The worst of the conditions were felt in Oxfordshire, where around 2,500 customers are currently without power. Extra linesman and repair teams have been despatched to the area to aid restoration efforts. Parts of Berkshire and Hampshire were also affected.

Finally the 21:30 update from Scottish Power:

Over the course of the day our distribution licence area in Cheshire, Merseyside & North Wales has experienced extreme weather conditions, including winds in excess of 90mph. As a result of these storm force winds, our network has sustained a level of damage resulting in a loss of power for some of our customers. Despite the extremely challenging conditions, and the restrictions that our teams have faced working at heights in such extreme conditions, our engineers have worked tirelessly over the course of today to restore power to as many homes as possible, restoring power to over 66,000 people. However, a number of customers will remain without power overnight and we will make every effort to contact these customers tonight.

We continue to work to maximise our resource levels, with additional engineering teams from our Scottish distribution area already dispatched to support the restoration efforts as well as continuing to work with our contracting partners to secure additional resources. We will also be looking to mobilise helicopters tomorrow morning to help the fault finding process on some of the more challenging terrain.

For a warming nightcap after the blustery day here’s the GridWatch UK electricity generation mix tonight, including the minor contributors:

4 thoughts on “Storm Doris Blacks Out Britain

  1. Here’s how Western Power Distribution’s live power cut map look this bright and less breezy morning:

     

    WPD have issued another severe weather update:

    Issued on: Friday 24th February – 8am

    WPD have successfully restored over 323,000 customers that were left off supply in the last 24 hours as a result of Storm Doris.

    155,000 customers experienced a short interruption to their supply and were restored remotely via our Control Room. The remaining 168,000 customers were restored after our staff worked tirelessly throughout the night to reconnect supply, in very challenging conditions.

    The current situation within WPD is that the South West, South Wales and East Midlands have now returned to business as usual levels.

    WPD West Midlands remains busy, with just over 4,000 customers off supply. Incidents are currently being worked on to ensure that all customers will be restored later today.

    WPD have transferred engineers from South Wales and the South West to assist with the restoration efforts in the West Midlands. The worst affected areas have been Hereford, Ludlow, Worcester, Telford and Stoke.

    WPD’s helicopters flew yesterday as soon as conditions were safe to do so to assist with fault location in Stoke and Telford. All four WPD helicopters have been airborne since first light to carry out patrols of the overhead network.

  2. Scottish Power have issued another severe weather update this afternoon:

    Today our engineering teams in Cheshire, Merseyside & North Wales are continuing the restoration efforts for those customers impacted yesterday by Storm Doris. Power was restored to over 70,000 customers over the course of yesterday, and we are focused on restoring power to all customers still without power today.

    We continue to allocate all available staff to the worst impacted areas to support the restoration efforts and continue to utilise additional resources from our Scottish distribution licence area as our contracting partners. Our helicopters are still being used to aid the fault finding on remote parts of our network. In addition, we have extra staff working in our dedicated faults and emergency call centres to deal with any queries and to provide customers with the latest available information.

    We are continuing to monitor the weather for the next 24 hours, and will adjust our emergency response plans accordingly as the situation develops.

    The number of outages across Western Power Distribution’s service area is gradually reducing:

  3. A Northern Powergrid news release reveals that:

    Northern Powergrid has sent a team of 35 of its linesmen and engineers to offer vital support to restoration efforts by UK Power Networks and SP Energy Networks after Storm Doris caused significant damage to the overhead power networks in Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales and East Anglia.

    The teams, which came from the electricity distribution company’s operations in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, travelled early Friday morning to Norwich and Birkenhead where they were fully briefed before heading out into the electricity distributors’ operating areas to support the restoration efforts in the worst affected communities.

    They will work over the next few days helping to repair overhead power lines damaged by Storm Doris as part of NEWSAC – a vital UK energy industry mutual aid agreement.

    The agreement, which all UK electricity distribution companies have signed up to, aims to provide additional strength to engineering teams so power can be restored for customers as soon as possible when networks are damaged by severe weather such as the high winds seen during Storm Doris.

     

    The latest SP Energy Networks severe_weather_update reports that:

    SP Energy Networks is the company responsible for the network which delivers electricity to around 3.3 million homes and businesses across Central & Southern Scotland, Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales & North Shropshire.

    Today our engineering teams in Cheshire, Merseyside & North Wales have worked to restore power to those customers yesterday by Storm Doris. We have now restored power to over 90,000 customers over the last 2 days, and continue to focus on restoring power to as many customers as possible today. However, due to the complexity of some of the repairs required, some customers will unfortunately not have their power restored until tomorrow. Our customer contact teams are currently in the process of speaking to these customers to discuss welfare arrangements we can put in place to help support.

     

    UK Power Networks report that:

    Electricity engineers have now restored power to the majority of homes and businesses affected by Storm Doris. Over 229,000 of the 232,000 properties affected have now been reconnected.

    Our engineers will be working through the night and into Saturday to overcome challenging working conditions and complex repairs and reconnect remaining customers. All customers who may be off supply overnight will be contacted by our Customer Services department and vulnerable customers will be offered additional assistance including hot food and overnight accommodation as required.

     

    Western Power Distribution have published a Storm Doris “Post event summary”. In brief:

    WPD successfully restored over 347,000 customers that were left off supply as a result of Storm Doris.

    Issued on: Friday 24th February – 5.30pm

    Storm Doris brought strong winds with gusts of over 70mph to many parts of WPD’s operating area on Thursday 23rd February, which includes the South West, South Wales and the Midlands.

    161,000 customers experienced a short interruption to their supply and were restored remotely via our Control Room. The remaining 186,000 customers were restored after our staff worked tirelessly throughout the night and into Friday to reconnect supplies, in very challenging conditions.

    To put this into context, the West Midlands experienced its busiest day ever with around a months’ worth of faults in a single day – approximately thirty-two times busier than an average day.

    Their live power cut map now looks like this:

     

    The UK’s electricity generation mix at the moment, courtesy of GridWatch, looks like this:

  4. It’s now lunchtime on Saturday February 25th. UK Power Networks have published a graphic overview of their activities during Storm Doris:

    We are back to business as usual today, having restored power to all but a few isolated cases after extensive damage caused by Storm Doris. See a summary of our performance during Storm Doris below:

    Western Power Distribution’s live power cut map looks like this:

    Finally, the UK’s electricity generation mix at the moment via GridWatch reveals lots of wind and solar PV generation:

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