More than 8,000 homes have been left without power across North Devon as Storm Eunice brought devastation to the region.
As of 2.35pm on Friday afternoon (February 18), properties in Lynton, Ilfracombe, Spreacombe, Braunton, Barnstaple, Bishop’s Tawton, Roundswell, Yelland, Fremington, Westward Ho!, Bideford, Torrington, Beaford and South Molton were without power.
Barnstaple, Yelland, Fremington, Bideford, East-the-Water and Beaford have been hit the hardest by the outages.
In Yelland and Fremington 1,810 have been without power since 11.30am this morning, power is not due to return until 6.30pm tonight.
In Barnstaple, 1,034 reported that they were without power shortly after 10.30am this morning; they will be waiting until at least 6pm for power to return.
Bideford and East-the-Water have a total of 1,027 homes without power, with half the reports coming in as early as 9.30am and the rest coming in at around 11.30am – the power will not return to this area until 6pm
Beaford has 968 properties without power, nine of these properties will have their power restored by 6pm tonight, while the other 959 properties will have to wait until 6pm on Saturday (February 19).
Engineers from Western Power Distribution are working hard to restore power to all 8,000 properties.
A Western Power pole on Old Barnstaple Road in Ilfracombe was snapped in half by the wind at midday today (Friday) and the road was closed.
Frank Biederman, North Devon councilor for Barnstaple South, Fremington, Horwood, Lovacott and Newton Tracey, Instow and Westleigh which is one of the areas worst hit by the power cuts, has been out clearing branches from pavements so wheelchair users can access shops.
He has been trying to keep in touch with his constituents during the power outtages, to offer support and reassure them, but as he is also affected, he is finding it a challenge to access social media.
Cllr Biederman said: “We need to look out for the community and for elderly vulnerable neighbors and we need to support each other.
“If we can get through Covid, we can get through 24 hours of this.
“I’m sure Western Power will do all they can to get us on as quickly as they can, if you see the engineers out working, please thank them.”
In an update posted at 1pm, Western Power Distribution announced that 69,248 customers across the whole of the South West are still without power, while 108,751 customers have had theirs restored already.
Graham Halladay, operations director, said: “I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding.
“Please be assured we are putting in every effort to restore power to you. While properties remain without power, we’ll continue to respond to incidents and restore supplies as quickly as safely possible.
“I’d also like to thank our staff for their unwavering efforts to restore power to our customers. We are very grateful.
“Remember, if you spot damage to our equipment or spot electricity poles or power lines that are down, please stay clear of them, keep others away while remaining safe yourself and call 105 immediately.”
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue are advising people without power not to light candles but use battery powered lights or torches instead.
Stay up to date with the latest on Storm Eunice here:LIVE: Storm Eunice in Devon as locals urged to stay indoors