Energy Minister sees scope of Storm Arwen's aftermath in Kemnay
North East MPs joined UK energy minister Greg Hands as he toured areas of Aberdeenshire still beset by problems after Storm Arwen last week.
One week after the red weather alert and subsequent storm, the power remained off for hundreds of properties in rural Aberdeenshire, and a number of schools remain closed.
Power company SSEN has now restored all reported customer faults following Storm Arwen.
The majority of schools have now reopened and welcomed back pupils and staff.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid showed Mr Hands issues around Methlick, where many homes are still without power or water, and residents are being assisted with hot food from a truck.
West Aberdeenshire MP Andrew Bowie accompanied Mr Hands in Kemnay so that he could witness the “devastation” caused in rural Aberdeenshire.
Mr Bowie said: “Along with other parts of the UK, the North East was thrown into chaos by perhaps the worst winds of the past 60 years.
“Greg and I spoke to the engineers working to restore power lines in parts of Aberdeenshire that were almost entirely flattened – thousands of trees gone, along with so many masts in the devastation.
“We are deeply indebted to the Armed Forces personnel who have been checking on residents and assisting the general relief effort.”
Following a formal approach to the UK Government for assistance, military personnel arrived in Aberdeenshire last Thursday morning (December 2) to support the ongoing resilience efforts in the aftermath of Storm Arwen.
The troops focussed on welfare checks on the ground within those communities still impacted by loss of power and supplemented what Aberdeenshire Council’s own teams have been doing since the weekend.
Mr Bowie continued: "I had a good conversation with the Royal Marines of 45 Commando, who were determined to help.
“Recovery from Storm Arwen will require massive effort, and I’d like to thank the many teams of volunteers and council workers who have been a tower of strength this past week.”