Community spirit alive and well in rural Northumberland following Storm Arwen

Rural communities in Northumberland have rallied round to ensure everyone gets the support they need in the wake of Storm Arwen.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 2:58 pm
Wooler councillor Mark Mather.
Wooler councillor Mark Mather.

Some isolated residents are now in their fourth day without power following Friday night’s storm in which gales of nearly 100mph tore down overhead lines, damaged buildings and interrupted water supplies.

In Wooler and Rothbury, community hubs were set up to provide respite, hot food and drinks to residents.

On Tuesday, Cllr Mark Mather, ward member for Wooler on Northumberland County Council, said: “We’ve got power back on to about 50% of Wooler now but we’ve still got the emergency centre open at The Angel Inn to do hot drinks and soup.

"Yesterday they did about 500 meals so a big thanks to publican Nikki Lightfoot. We also got food donated by the Co-op and Northumbrian Water delivered two wagon loads of water.

"Mountain rescue teams, police and fire and rescue service crews, parish councillors and local residents are continuing to check on potentially vulnerable residents in the more rural areas such as Ingram and Kirknewton.”

Cllr Mather, who farms at nearby Haugh Head, described the damage caused by the storm as ‘catastrophic’.

"I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I was out at 3.30am as part of the emergency response and it was like watching match sticks getting blown around.”

In the Coquet Valley, the Jubilee Hall in Rothbury has been open for anyone that wants to access hot food, drinks and charge any electrical devices. All of the tea, coffee and food has been provided by local businesses, free of charge.