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The Scottish Government has declared a major incident in Shetland as thousands of homes face days without power in freezing temperatures. Residents reported a blackout on Monday afternoon and despite efforts from SSEN engineers, power is expected to be off until Thursday. The Scottish Government Resilience Room met today to discuss the impacts of the power outages and subsequently declared a major incident as more engineers are expected to arrive in Shetland on Wednesday morning.
Police Scotland has also warned residents to stay indoors to avoid treacherous weather conditions as Shetland’s Area Commander urged people to try and find ways to stay warm.
So far power has been restored to more than 2,500 properties, with 3,800 currently off supply in Voe, Whalsay, Brae, Tumblin, Yell and Unst, reports the Daily Record.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown, lead Minister for resilience said: “The challenging circumstances facing parts of Shetland have been declared a major incident and, while SSEN is making every effort to restore supplies, it is clear that many properties will face days without power.
“This afternoon I chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) with our multi-agency partners to make every effort to restore power and support households.
“Sumburgh airport has now reopened and we are working with SSEN and transport operators to maximise capacity. We expect more SSEN engineers will arrive early tomorrow morning and will continue to do what we can to get as many staff and as much equipment to Shetland as needed, as early as possible.”
He added: “Our utmost priority must be to ensure that people, especially the most vulnerable, are safe and warm. SSEN have contacted all priority customers and Shetland Islands Council has identified vulnerable people who may need extra support. It is also considering how buildings such as community centres could be used to provide respite centres if needed.
“I would urge people to heed the Police Scotland advice to stay at home, find ways to stay warm, check in on neighbours, friends and family, and listen to the local radio or follow social media for updates.”
Chief Inspector Stuart Clemenson said: “I would urge people to stay at home where it is safest given the treacherous conditions outdoors, and find ways to stay as warm as you can.
“Link in with neighbours, friends and family to ensure they are safe and well, in particular those who are vulnerable, and listen to the local radio or follow social media for updates from Police Scotland and our partners. If you need police help, contact 101 or 999 in an emergency and we will respond as quickly as we can.
“The impact the snow has had in the north of Shetland is unprecedented and local resilience partners are working closely together to identify those who may need additional support and coordinate welfare arrangements.”
More to follow…
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