UPDATE: Engineers restore power to all remaining customers affected by Storm Gertrude
Northern Powergrid has restored electricity to the remaining 45 customers after 25,000 homes and businesses had power cuts as a result of Storm Gertrude.
By late Friday night, the electricity distributor had successfully restored power to the vast majority of customers whose supplies were affected as a result of damage to the power lines supplying their area.
It remained in touch with the remaining 45 customers and provided support where required.
Head of network operations Rod Gardner said: "Storm Gertrude saw winds of up to 79mph across parts of our operating area causing damage to our overhead network in Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and parts of North Yorkshire.
"Our network control engineers, frontline engineers, linesmen and customer support teams have all worked together with professionalism and dedication to ensure all 25,000 of our customers had their power safely restored.
"We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused and thank our customers for their understanding and patience whilst we worked in what was very challenging conditions to repair the damage caused by Storm Gertrude."
Northern Powergrid switched electricity supplies, where possible, through alternative routes on its network whilst teams of engineers worked day and night to repair the physical damage caused by the storm force winds and trees and windborne debris hitting its overhead network.
It will closely monitor the weather forecast over the coming days and is assuring customers that it remains prepared and has extra engineers and customer advisors ready to respond should further strong winds affect its network.
The electricity distribution company is reminding customers to bookmark northernpowergrid.com on their mobile phone, if they haven’t already, so they can use its power cut reporting service if they need it, and consider following the company’s 24/7 Twitter (@northpowergrid) and Facebook pages for regular updates and advice.
It is also reminding anyone who spots any damaged cables or other equipment not to approach the area, but to contact the company immediately on its North East 24-hour power cut enquiry number - 0800 668877.