Power cuts in Sleaford area as Storm Aileen hits county

Beware of fallen trees
Beware of fallen trees

Emergency services teams along with Lincolnshire Highways officials have been on standby overnight in readiness for Storm Aileen to hit.

So far there have not been many reports of fallen trees or power lines blocking roads but there have been up to 944 homes without power since early this morning in the county, many around the Sleaford area.

According to Western Power Distribution, which maintains the electricity network in the area, up to 236 properties in the Ruskington area since 4.46am and another 39 in Pickworth since 5.44am. There a tree had blown down on the road from Folkingham to Pickworth cutting power lines. Police were also on the scene.

There were more said to be affected in Aslackby, Birthorpe and Horbling and all would be restored by midday.

A Western Power spokesman said: “We have restored power to 5,000 properties across Lincolnshire overnight and early this morning.

“In the event of storms being forecast, Western Power Distribution has a number of procedures it carries out including: enhancing standby, opening depots earlier, informing contractors and placing specialist equipment on standby. Customers can sign up to severe weather alerts on our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also contact vulnerable customers when necessary.

“Customers wishing to report a power cut or who spot any damage to overhead power lines or poles can call 105 for free any time. It’s important that anyone who sees a fallen power line does not touch it as it might still be live. We’d ask that they keep well away and call us.”

East Midlands Trains stated this morning: “We’re expecting our trains to run as normal this morning. We’ve been working with @networkrail to run trains safely. #StormAileen”

An amber weather warning for strong winds had been issued for residents across most of Lincolnshire by the Met Office.

The weather front, named Storm Aileen, would bring heavy rain and strong westerly winds to the county and gusts of 65-75mph from midnight until 6am.

The Chief Forecaster stated: “The strongest winds are expected to arrive in the west around midnight and move quickly eastwards, with the worst of the winds likely to affect any one place for one to two hours.”

Longer journey times on the roads and by train were expected for commuters as the storm subsides, with restrictions likely to be issued on some roads and bridges. Damage to trees and some buildings, as well as power cuts, were expected. Flying debris and large coastal waves also possible.

There are many ways you can keep safe during strong winds by being prepared:

○ Secure items outside your home that could be blown away, such as patio furniture, bins etc

○ Place cars in garages or where they will be protected from flying debris, such as tiles or branches for example

○ Remove items from around your home that may be blown into windows/patio doors

○ Keep pets indoors. Shelter outdoor pets, or bring under cover in a protected location

○ Check that nearby trees and/or tall structures are undamaged and in good repair and are not in danger of being blown over and damaging your home, or placing people in danger

For more safety advice before, during and after strong winds, visit Lincolnshire Prepared.