Minister for Resilience praises Shetlanders in ‘difficult circumstances’

A Scottish government minister has praised the Shetland community for their efforts in ‘difficult circumstances’ as he visited the island following major power supply problems.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown was in Shetland on Thursday to chair a resilience meeting with community members and energy company bosses.

A ‘major incident’ was declared in the region earlier this week as snow and ice accumulated on overhead power lines, causing them to snap and leaving thousands without power as temperatures plummeted.

Mr Brown visited the Bixter Community Hall to speak with residents, representatives of the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Scottish Police teams, before chairing a further meeting of the hall resilience of the Scottish Government.

Homes in Shetland remain without electricity (Caroline Ritchie/PA)

Mr Brown, who is also Minister for Resilience, said: “The situation in West Shetland remains extremely difficult for many people and businesses without electricity.

“There has been a fantastic response from the community and partners. I met a range of residents at Bixter Hall today and what struck me most was the tremendous effort team at stake in a very difficult set of circumstances.

“Everyone is pitching in and helping each other, whether it’s preparing food and keeping spirits up, or watching over vulnerable members of the community. It’s really quite amazing.

“I have also chaired a further meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) with our multi-agency partners to ensure that all efforts are made.

“There is now a team of 125 engineers working hard to restore power to the remaining 2,400 properties out of power, with more engineers and materials due to arrive tomorrow (Friday) and improved weather forecasts. .

“SSEN has confirmed that the majority of these customers should be back by the end of the weekend, subject to any further weather changes.

“The Shetland Islands Council is looking after vulnerable people in care homes and hospitals and reaching out to those with medical needs.

“Police Scotland advice remains to stay at home, find ways to stay warm and listen to local radio or follow social media for updates. The Scottish Government will continue to do what it can to help partners resolve the situation as quickly as possible. »

Power restoration is expected to extend through the end of this week, with areas experiencing significant grid damage extending into the weekend.

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