Anger at lack of help as Dales residents enter third day without power

Photo; Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

Residents still without power after Storm Arwen have hit out at authorities for failing to offer help.

Areas of Swaledale have not had electricity since 11pm on Friday night, despite temperatures hitting -6C.

Residents of Gunnerside and Low Row are among those affected.

The latest updates from Northern Powergrid say it could be midday Tuesday before 140 properties in upper Swaledale are reconnected.

Around 50 homes and businesses in the Hawes area also still without power, with some due to be reconnected by 11.30pm tonight and others also having to wait until tomorrow lunchtime.

Swaledale Mountain rescue Team had to help the ambulance service after a 98-year-old Gunnerside resident became seriously ill on Sunday.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said communications from Northern Powergrid had been “dire”.

They added: “We are on day three in some parts of Low Row, Gunnerside Village and some parts of Upper Swaledale with no electricity in -6C temperatures.

“The residents of Flatlands in Gunnerside are all on electric storage heating but have received no offer help from the council.

“The main roads have been clear the whole period, but local off roads are very treacherous, so infirm and elderly people are too scared to get out for help and find warmth.

“Receiving hot food and water is vital in these awful conditions and no authority have been out to help — it’s times like this you truly know who your friends are.”

Cllr Raymond Alderson, chair of Melbecks Parish Council, which covers Gunnerside and Low Row, said he was not aware of what help had been offered to local residents.

“If things happen Saturday ort Sunday these days nobody wants to know. There’s no 24-hour coverage — it’s a five-day service if that.”

Local residents have pointed out that the mobile phone mast relies on electricity and has also been down.

Some power was restored at 6pm Sunday evening bringing back the mobile mast, although this was only of use if residents still had charge in their mobile phones after two days.

Upper Dales district councillor Jill McMullon said there were pockets still without power but Northern Powergrid was working hard to restore people.

She said she would be contacting senior officers at the district council this morning to find out what could be done to help.

County councillor Yvonne Peacock said there were pockets of communities across the upper Dales still without power.

“My advice is for people to call the contact centre North Yorkshire County Council 01609 780780 if they have a specific need.”

Swaledale and Arkengarthdale district councillor Richard Good said he would also be contacting the authority this morning.

The response effort to the storm is coordinated through the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum.

Officials say this brings together all the organisations with a part to play in helping communities.

Speaking on behalf of the Forum, Neil Irving, explained, “With an issue like this storm and the wintry weather that’s followed, it’s really important that we work together closely to make sure that those who need help are able to get it.

“Our joint response across emergency services, organisations delivering important infrastructure, and local councils providing support to people, mean that we’ve been able to combine and target our help more effectively.

“We expect to be hit by storms, snow and ice in the winter – but it’s important to realise that these weather events can cause real problems for people.  That’s why it’s so important we work together in our response.”



  1. We are now being told that to be ‘green’ we will have to use only electricity for everything including our cars. So what will happen when we have power cuts? And there are likely to be more when we are all so dependent on it.

    • An electric vehicle battery will keep a house in power for several days – so perhaps when there are power cuts in the future, people will plug the house into their car to keep the lights on.

    • We should all fit solar electric panels on our house roofs. It not only provides green energy into the grid in good times but provides some for personal power in bad. Just needs some help with the installation costs.

  2. We have also been without Power at Simonstone since 10.30 pm Friday no water either as electricity pumps our water. Hardraw and Sedbusk also without power. Can’t get hold of anyone at Northern Grid. No water distribution to residents! Not heard our villages mentioned on social media! Think we have been forgotten about ! No council help offered ! Very frustrating

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