East Durham MP's inquiry call over Storm Arwen response

A North East MP has called on the Government to commission an independent public inquiry into the national and local response to Storm Arwen.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 5:12 pm

Easington MP Grahame Morris called the Government’s response to Storm Arwen ‘lamentable’ in a Commons speach.

He added: “The Minister promised to look at what lessons can be learnt from Storm Arwen, however, it need to recognise the scale of the national and local failure.

"We all accept the unprecedented nature of the power cuts and appreciate the efforts of engineers, but where people are left without power for a week, there is an expectation alternative accommodation would be provided.”

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Grahame Morris. Picture by FRANK REID

He added: “Storm Arwen was not unexpected. Such a warning should automatically kick start emergency preparations, with the movement of resources closer to affected areas. To take five days to declare a major incident is not good enough.”

As of 3pm on Wednesday, Northern Powergrid said its emergency teams had restored supplies to 230,300 customers – with 9,700 still without power.

The power distribution network – which covers the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, has restored is reminding customers of the welfare arrangements available following what it says it it’s biggest challenge in 15 years.

The majority of cut off homes are in rural areas of County Durham and Northumberland and the firm says it has sent out support vehicles to communities providing local people with access to hot water, drinks, mobile phone charging and winter warmer packs.

People in need of the service can email [email protected] with their name, address and mobile telephone number.