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One week ago today, a red weather warning was issued for the eastern coast of the UK before a devastating storm hit. Storm Arwen has been one of the most damaging in living memory. I saw the force of this storm from my home in Coldstream.
I was also in Eyemouth, Burnmouth, and Reston ([link removed]) this week and saw the devastation for myself. As well as losing electricity there are many buildings with damaged roofs and cars with smashed windows. The local Co-op in Eyemouth has been forced to close due to damage.
Across the Borders there remains a number of communities without power after what will have been seven long nights. I have been in constant contact with senior management at Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN). I met with their Chief Operating Officer earlier this week highlighting the issues facing local residents, especially those who are more vulnerable.
One of the main frustrations has been the poor communication from SPEN. Lots of local residents are telling me that they are receiving notice that their power will be restored later that day, but it never comes. I raised this specific issue with the Business and Energy Ministers in the House of Commons. Without realistic timelines, people are unable to plan or seek alternative accommodation.
However, as ever, another crisis has shown the strength of our communities. I visited Reston & Auchencrow Food Larder yesterday and saw the great work they are doing to support vulnerable people. Their volunteers have been delivering food parcels to people who have been without power in their area. I know this community spirit has been displayed throughout the Borders.
We have also seen a great number of engineers and council employees working in treacherous conditions to clear roads and get the lights back on. It will be a while yet before things get back to normal, but we are grateful for their dedicated work.
If you are struggling with storm damage or power outages, I am more than happy to help. Get in touch by replying to this email or phoning my office on 01450 375948.
You can also find out more about the power cuts in your area on the SPEN website ([link removed]) .
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