More than 100,000 homes lost their electricity supply in Britain on Tuesday as storms of up to 90 miles-per-hour uprooted trees which knocked out transmission lines and flying debris damaged power infrastructure, electricity suppliers said.
SSE Power Distribution, which supplies electricity in Scotland and southern England, said 63,000 customers were disconnected on Tuesday, while 40,000 customers at Scottish Power Energy Networks in Scotland and north-west England were also without electricity.
The biggest issue affecting the electricity network has been uprooted trees and other debris blown on to overhead power lines, which has caused damage and brought down the power lines in some areas, a spokesman for Scottish Power said.
The winds have also caused structural damage and closed many roads, making it hard for engineers to access faults.
Other power network operators in England also said customers were cut off on Tuesday, but transmission was restored in the afternoon and the number of customers affected was smaller than in Scotland.
SSE and Scottish Power said they had mobilised around 1,000 engineers to tackle the supply cuts, but strong winds made it dangerous for workers to get to problem zones in certain areas.
The company cancelled all non-essential maintenance work, and has drafted in extra engineers from England in order to help with the emergency response, the Scottish Power spokesman said.
Britain's high-voltage power network operator National Grid also issued a warning on Tuesday about system disturbances between 0900-1800 GMT due to the storms.
(There is a) high risk of circuit trippings and disruption to supplies in Scotland and North of England due to high winds, the company said in a system warning.
EDF Energy, Britain's largest nuclear power producer, also reduced output at its Scottish Hunterston B nuclear reactors following a request from National Grid so the network operator can better manage power distribution while supply cuts are ongoing.
Storms also delayed the delivery of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo to Britain's Isle of Grain terminal on Tuesday as wind speeds were too high to allow the huge vessel to berth.
(Editing by William Hardy)