Army troops to remain in County Durham in response to Storm Arwen after Ministry of Defence agrees to extend support

Troops will remain in County Durham to offer support for residents affected by power cuts in the wake of Storm Arwen.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 6:16 pm
Updated Monday, 6th December 2021, 6:20 pm

Around 80 members of the army were drafted in on Friday, December 3 to provide help to residents affected by Storm Arwen.

Now, troops will continue to help as part of the joint response to the extreme weather in County Durham until Wednesday, after the Ministry of Defence agreed to extend its offer of support.

The soldiers from the Royal Lancers have been working alongside representatives from different organisations to carry out welfare checks, providing advice and information and delivering emergency supplies.

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DURHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Trooper Josh Harvey from the Royal Lancers delivers a welfare package to farmer David Eccles as welfare checks are carried out on remote properties in Teesdale that remain without power on December 05, 2021 in Durham, England. Several thousand people in the North East remain without power more than a week after Storm Arwen battered parts of England and Scotland. As the area faces another bout of wet and windy conditions, members of the British Army's Royal Lancers, a cavalry regiment, are conducting welfare checks on affected residents. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

John Hewitt, Chair of the LRF's Strategic Coordinating Group and our Chief Executive, said: "The additional support provided by the military over the weekend has enabled us to strengthen and accelerate the support we are providing to residents.

"With some properties still offline, it is important that we continue to maintain the level of support to residents that we are currently providing. For that reason, we submitted a further Military Aid to the Civil Authority (MACA) request to the Ministry of Defence and they have approved it."

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Durham County Council say they will also continue to work with Northern Powergrid to ensure that power is returned to all residents ‘as soon as possible’, but particularly the most vulnerable.

DURHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Soldiers from the Royal Lancers load up welfare packages from the county council for distribution to homes in the county that remain without power on December 05, 2021 in Durham, England. Several thousand people in the North East remain without power more than a week after Storm Arwen battered parts of England and Scotland. As the area faces another bout of wet and windy conditions, members of the British Army's Royal Lancers, a cavalry regiment, are conducting welfare checks on affected residents. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

According to Northern Powergrid, there are now less than 500 properties in County Durham without power, with east Durham being the worst affected area.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "Our dedicated armed forces personnel are working side by side with civil authorities to provide essential support to communities impacted by Storm Arwen.

"The ability to deploy quickly to wherever in the UK assistance is requested makes us all safer and ensures we are able to protect the most vulnerable in our society."

The Met Office has issued another yellow weather warnings for the region from 9am tomorrow morning, Tuesday December 7.

DURHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Craftsman Emily Heavisive (L) and Trooper Josh Harvey from the Royal Lancers carry out a welfare check on a remote property that remains without power in Teesdale on December 05, 2021 in Durham, England. Several thousand people in the North East remain without power more than a week after Storm Arwen battered parts of England and Scotland. As the area faces another bout of wet and windy conditions, members of the British Army's Royal Lancers, a cavalry regiment, are conducting welfare checks on affected residents. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Forecasters are not expecting winds to be as heavy as what the North East experienced during Storm Arwen, however they could still cause some disruption.

Durham County Council say they have been making preparations for incoming Storm Barra after deploying gritters and other vehicles, equipment and resources in some areas of the county.

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