Repairs continue after major damage by Storm Arwen

Clean up works following the damage caused by Storm Arwen are taking place across the Berwick area.

By Andrew Coulson
Monday, 29th November 2021, 5:37 pm
Workers have been spotted carrying out repairs to roofs in the Berwick area today. Picture by Canon Alan Hughes.
Workers have been spotted carrying out repairs to roofs in the Berwick area today. Picture by Canon Alan Hughes.

Residents in various parts of the town and surrounding villages have been left without power and water starting from Friday night while sections of roofs were blown off, trees uprooted, gable ends fell down, and walls and fences blown over.

Northern Powergrid is working to restore power to the remaining properties without power and Northumbrian Water has been updating residents on social media, stating this afternoon: “Water supply has now been restored to most customers in the Berwick area. We are working hard to restore water to any customers still without supply.”

Various bottled water distribution points have been put in place for those still without water.

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Town Clerk Gareth Davies gives the thumbs up the work to reduce the amount of sand on Spittal promenade by local builder Simon Maden. Picture by Canon Alan Hughes.

Across Northumberland, tree safety checks are still taking place for all key open spaces and Northumberland County Council staff, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Mountain Rescue teams and local communities are working together to look after any residents who need support.

Coun Catherine Seymour, county councillor for Berwick North, said: “With considerable storm damage throughout on properties, roads, lights and trees, as well as many with loss of water and electricity, we are not out of hardship yet by a long chalk.

“The county council has been working around the clock to attend to emergency calls, road closures, gritting and in close contact with other parties. There are many school closures due to damage to schools throughout the county that are being assessed for safe return.

“Community hubs have been set up to provide respite care and hot food and drink with offers to help. It is all hands on deck and, as always, it is heartening that the community pulls together during this difficult time.”

Picture by Susan Hughes of Alan Hughes beside a fallen tree which he said "miraculously just missed Berwick Parish Church".

Berwick West with Ord county councillor Isabel Hunter said: “There has been property damage and trees down, and some residents were without power from Friday night until Sunday night.

“The community has been helping each other with the big clear up, which has started and will take some time before we can get back to normal.”

Coun Georgina Hill, Berwick East county councillor, has been keeping people up-to-date with water distribution today on her Facebook page (Georgina Hill, Berwick), with support from supermarkets in the area and local businesses.

She said: “This storm has been unlike anything anyone in Berwick can remember. The damage is extensive but, once again, the local community has pulled together to help each other out and will continue to do so in the aftermath.”

Town Clerk Gareth Davies toured Berwick examining the damage and said “Berwick is a good town, full of good and generous people” as he viewed the work to reduce the amount of sand on Spittal promenade by Simon Maden.

Canon Alan Hughes, Sheriff of Berwick, said: “Storm Arwen has not only shown us the power of nature, but also how fragile the veneer of complex modern society is.

“On the positive side, after witnessing the destruction of property, uprooting and snapping of huge trees, power and water outages, fuel stations closed, Berwickers swiftly took stock and rallied to face the challenge, as they have throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

“Local builders and tradesmen have deserted their own projects to respond to the needs of townsfolk – repairing rooftops and restoring essential services.”