Storm Isha hits Northumberland with gusts of nearly 100mph recorded near Alnwick

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Gusts of nearly 100mph hit Northumberland as Storm Isha rushed through.

A top wind speed of 99mph was recorded at Brizlee Wood, near Alnwick, in the early hours of Monday morning.

The storm has caused school closures, power cuts, and significant travel disruption.

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Travel disruption

Remote Radar Head Brizlee, near Alnwick. Picture: Warrant Officer Paul KiddellRemote Radar Head Brizlee, near Alnwick. Picture: Warrant Officer Paul Kiddell
Remote Radar Head Brizlee, near Alnwick. Picture: Warrant Officer Paul Kiddell

The Main East Coast Line has reopened for services north of Newcastle but operators have warn ed that disruption is expected to continue throughout the day.

Customers with tickets for Monday can defer travel up to and including Thursday, 25 January. LNER ticket restrictions on Monday will be lifted and customers who are booked wholly to travel with LNER can use their ticket on any LNER service.

Alternatively, if you are no longer travelling, you are entitled to a full refund of your unused tickets.

School closures

Northumberland County Council has announced that a number of schools are closed today due to the impact of the storm.

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Greenhaugh Primary School and Bellingham Middle School have both closed due to an inability to get staff and pupils to the site due to the aftermath of the storm.

Bellingham Middle School has also lost power, as have Lowick C of E Vol Controlled First School, Hexham First School, and Otterburn Primary School, which are also closed.

Kielder Primary School is closed too, and in the south east of the county Cramlington Shanklea Primary School and Cambois Primary School have closed due to broken central heating.

Harbottle C of E Primary School is also without heating and power, so has closed.

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Pupils at Hexham Priory School now need to go home after a power cut at the school.

Central Primary School in Ashington’s upper site is closed due to ongoing gas works.

Branton Primary School has closed this afternoon due to a burst water main.

Council services

Tips in Bebside, Morpeth, and North Seaton have been shut by Northumberland County Council for safety reasons.

Bin collections, however, are going ahead.

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The council has also closed Druridge Bay, Bolam Lake, and Plessey Woods country parks so that staff can assess storm damage and check the parks are safe for visitors.

As of 3.30pm Monday.

Andy Bilclough, Northern Powergrid’s Director of Field Operations, said: “Our teams have been working throughout the day to assess the damage caused by Storm Isha, and have made good progress, restoring power to 45,100 homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

“We ensured we had our teams in place and have in brought more colleagues today from other parts of our business to support our response for our customers. Our teams are working hard, wherever it is safe to do so, to get the 9,900 customers across our operating area still affected because of the torm back on supply as soon as possible. Northumberland has seen the most impact from the storm with around 6,000 properties currently without power.

“We will continue to keep our power cut map up to date on our website, and our customers informed via text message and through our social media channels. If you need additional support, please get in touch. Our customer support vehicles and welfare partners are out and about in communities offering help on the ground to those who need it most. These will be very visible with Northern Powergrid branding, where there will be hot drinks and phone charging points available, so do look out for those. Finally, I’d like to thank our customers for their patience whilst our teams work in challenging conditions to get the power back on for all those affected.”

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Customers should keep an eye out for updates via text message, on Northern Powergrid’s website and on their social media channels.

If you have been impacted by a power cut and you have not yet heard from Northern Powergrid, please call 105 or use their website to report power cuts. You can also report a power cut via WhatsApp on 0191 687 22 54 - available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Priority Services Membership customers will receive extra help and will be kept updated. Alternatively, contact the priority service line on 0800 169 2996.

If you spot any fallen trees on power lines/poles or damaged cables due to the strong winds, stay well clear and call 105 immediately.

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The following numbers are available for residents needing support:

NCT (for anyone struggling with food supplies or other essentials) Mon-Fri 01670 620015.

NCC out-of-hours service: 0345 600 6400

Concerned about vulnerable residents 01670 536400.