Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) has begun preparing for the severe weather that is forecast to hit Scotland on Friday.
The electricity distributor is expecting gusts of up to 100 mph and lightning strikes across northern Scotland, Western Isles, Shetland, Caithness, Moray Firth and Tayside.
Independent forecasts suggest that two storms are heading towards Scotland. The first is expected to bring winds of around 90mph from the early hours of Friday. The second, from early Saturday morning, is also expected to cause lightning as well as gusts of 90mph – reaching 100mph in some places.
SHEPD has mobilised hundreds of additional staff on the ground and in customer call centres. It is also transferring some resources from its sister company in England in anticipation of the severe weather.
Rodney Grubb, head of operations, is urging customers to minimise the risk of a power cut in their area. “With wind speeds of around 100mph it is ever so easy for garden furniture and farm equipment to be carried by the wind at high speed, which then becomes tangled in our power lines. I would urge customers, especially in rural areas, to ensure anything that has the potential to become wind borne debris is secured.”
The electricity distributor, which serves 750,000 customers, is working with councils, emergency services and a number of other agencies to ensure that vulnerable customers are looked after. Outbound calls continue to be made to our most vulnerable customers, offering them a priority service.
Any customers who lose their electricity supply are urged to contact our dedicated team on 0800 300 999 to report damage or highlight neighbours or friends who may need extra help.