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Power restored to homes after storm

A flooded street30/12/13

By Sarah Tawton

Households left without electricity following the Christmas storms have now had their power restored.

Thousands of people across the country were cut off at the height of the bad weather, with customers in the south east of England, north Wales and Cumbria among the worst affected.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) confirmed that the last few homes had been reconnected by engineers on Sunday evening.

It came as energy firms faced criticism for their slow response to the storm damage.

Widespread power cuts

Basil Scarsella, chief executive of the UK Power Networks, admitted that the group was not prepared for the widespread power cuts, with too many of its staff on holiday at the time.

He told the Mail on Sunday that efforts to restore power to thousands of customers should have been better.

UK Power Networks, which owns electricity lines and cables in London, the south east and east of England, has announced plans to raise payments for 48 to 60-hour outages from £27 to £75, as "a gesture of goodwill" to those who were affected by power cuts on Christmas Day.

Customers who were left without electricity for longer periods could receive additional payments of up to £432.

Meanwhile, more homes have been left at risk of flooding as fresh band of heavy rain and strong winds arrives in the UK.

Severe weather warning

The latest storm pushing in from the Atlantic was due to pass across the UK from west to east on Monday, with the South West set to be the worst affected.

A severe weather warning has been issued by the Met Office, with gales of up to 80mph set to hit Wales, southern, western and northern England and Scotland.

The Environment Agency (EA) has also issued around 100 flood alerts, the majority of them in southern, western and northern England.

Some 1,300 properties in England have already been damaged by floods during the recent storms.

More disruption and flooding

Forecasters have also warned people in the South West to be wary of ice patches, as temperatures are set to drop below freezing in the region.

The stormy weather is expected to continue into the new year, with a severe weather warning for rain in place on New Year's Day, affecting southern England and western Scotland.

George Goodfellow, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said: "Normally, we would say this is a typical winter storm but because we're still recovering from a string of other storms it is likely to cause more disruption and flooding."


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