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Storm Arwen: Angus residents ‘desperate’ for power supplies to be restored as 3,000 meals served up

Justin Emmerson from Kinnordy says the food van has been a huge help during the power cut.
Justin Emmerson from Kinnordy says the food van has been a huge help during the power cut.

Angus residents forced to go without power for the last four nights say they are “desperate” to have supplies restored.

Nearly 1,700 people in the area, along with about 1,200 in Perthshire, remain without electricity after severe damage was caused during Storm Arwen.

A van supplying hot food and drinks has been based in Kirriemuir in recent days to support those affected, with a warning that some properties may remain without power until Wednesday or beyond.

Justin Emmerson, 50, who stays at Kinnordy – just outside the town – says the initial novelty of the power cut has worn off.

Dozens of trees were blown over in Kirriemuir and the surrounding area.

He said: “It has been stressful but it has been made a whole lot easier because of the food van. The guys at the van have been amazing and we are so grateful to them.

“I’ve been here every day and it has made a huge difference. I have been able to get hot water and we have had two coal fires working.

“We have pretty much stayed in one room. We were able to make Pot Noodles but not much else.

“On the first night we got into bed together to stay warm and thought it was all a bit of fun – that soon changed.”

3,000 meals dished up to affected residents

By Tuesday morning, staff working in the van had served about 3,000 meals courtesy of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), which is working to restore power in the area.

Les Armstrong, from Charleston on the outskirts of Glamis, has also been using the van.

He told The Courier: “We lost power on Friday night and it still wasn’t back on by Tuesday morning.

“I have lived in the area 20 years and never known anything like it before.”

The hot meal van in Kirriemuir is supplying affected residents with food and drink.

Les says that thanks to a generator he bought years ago, he has been able to provide some heat to his home.

He added: “We have also been using torches and candles for light but we haven’t been able to cook.

“I’ve been here most days and it’s been brilliant. We have been told that the power might be back on soon but we aren’t getting our hopes up too much.

“It’s been a bit of a struggle but we’re coping.”

‘We are desperate to get the power back on’

Meanwhile one mum with three young children, who asked not to be named, says it has been a challenging time.

She said: “The kids were quite excited at first when the power went off on Friday night.

“However, this is our fourth day without electricity and it’s no fun.

“I’ve been wrapping the children up in loads of jumpers and duvets and blankets to try to keep warm.

“We are now desperate to get the power back on and get hot water and heating.”

Another of the trees to have come down in the area

The 33-year-old, who lives a few miles outside of Kirriemuir, says she was “terrified” that a tree would come down on her house during the storm.

She added: “My greenhouse was smashed to pieces and a couple of fences were blown down, as well as a few branches landing in the garden, but apart from that there was no real damage, thank goodness.

“Neighbours have all rallied round and we have made sure that everyone is as well as can be expected while we wait for the power to come back on.”

In an update on Tuesday morning, SSEN said that 105,000 customers have now been reconnected.

But 1,698 properties in Angus and 1,183 in Perthshire remain off-grid, in a situation branded “unprecedented” by the energy secretary.

Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire. Image: PA Wire.

Pete Wishart, the MP for Perth and North Perthshire, says he has been pressing the electricity firm for updates.

He said: “I will speak with officials at SSEN today to ensure that everything is being done to return power to these homes as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime, a support team from SSEN have set up a base at the Dalrulzion Hotel in Glenshee, where they are using 4X4 vehicles to deliver supplies to vulnerable and remote customers.”

MSP in ‘close contact’ with energy firm

John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North, said: “It is vital that every effort is made to restore power to all homes as quickly as possible.

“To that end, I have been in close contact with SSEN and have been receiving regular updates on their repair work.

“I will continue to liaise with SSE to ensure that all steps are taken to address the outages that are still affecting over 1,000 homes in Perthshire.”

Storm Arwen power cuts: How to claim compensation

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