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Updated: Clearing Up After Eunice – Three Ongoing Power Cuts in Guildford Area

Published on: 19 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 19 Feb, 2022

By Martin Giles

Post Eunice clear-up work was taking place across Guildford borough today as hundreds were still without electricity and rail services remain suspended.

The borough council has been busy supporting residents and agencies with recovery work. The Dragon obtained a detailed report of its activity which can be found below.

UK Power Networks Map showing three ongoing power cuts in Guildford Borough.

Information message re. power cuts in Wood Street. Similar messages have been posted for an area to the north of Guildford including parts of postcodes GU2 7.., GU3 1.. and GU3 3.. (estimated time for restoration 1830-1930 today) and the Shalford area postcodes GU5 0.. and GU5 9… (estimated time for restoration 1530-1630 today).

Another disappointed would-be passenger being told all rail services  suspended.

A steady stream of rail travellers were surprised to see a barrier across the entrance to Guildford railway stations. All train services have been suspended and there are no relief bus services either because according to on man on duty at the barrier “all the other stations are closed too”.

With the station forecourt closed off Walnut Tree Close, itself currently closed, became a temporary taxi rank.

Trees blocking roads were quickly cleared but others have still to be removed.

Dragon reader Dominic Cosgrove sent in this video clip of Surrey Fire & Rescue retrieving loosened metalwork which could have presented a risk to those below if it fell.

He said: “I was just in town and saw the fire brigade using their high lift ladder to retrieve some hanging metalwork from the roof of Decathlon.”

And a report circulated to councillors reported a wide range of activity. Cllr John Rigg (R4GV, Holy Trinity) said: “Once again, our officers have risen to the challenge.”

The council officer’s report read:

It’s been a busy day. Staff have been exceptional and we continue to work with our Local Resilience Forum colleagues and follow our emergency planning frameworks and policies.  Apologies if I have missed anything out but a lot has been going on.

Following a very early meeting this morning, at the depot a decision was made that was was safe to send the waste and recycling crews went out as normal this morning. I am very pleased to say they managed to collect 90% of the waste and recycling.

The team collected 29,280 bins at 15,704 properties today. But with trees blown into roads by #StormEunice and issues with two vehicles they were unable to finish the final 294 garden waste collections. These were in Pirbright, Jacobs Well and Abbotswood areas. The aim is to catch up tomorrow if it is safe to do so.

Our Building Control Team has been dealing with a number of complex issues including the collapse of a building façade on a building on Walnut Tree Close.

The building on Walnut Tree Close, only completed within the last two years, suffered storm damage when the top of the brick facade broke away. There are no known reports of any injuries.

Surrey County Highways are also involved and after discussing many options and taking into account the station roof is also unsafe and has debris falling from it, they have closed the entire road this evening.

Their teams must prioritise safety and have huge demand on their services today. We are working closely with them and hope to reach a solution tomorrow where we can at least let people out of the car parks. We understand how completely frustrating this situation is and I will keep you updated on it.

A wall has collapsed in Stoke Park Gardens, no one was hurt and it is likely that the Gardens will have to remain closed until we can make this safe.

The snapped tree trunk in the Castle Grounds. Fortunately, the nearby war memorial appears undamaged.

One of the large trees has also come down in the Castle Gardens by the Castle Cottage and our Building Control and repairs team have worked quickly and made this safe.

I am also pleased to note that we put in additional customer service resource to deal with the anticipated number of calls and the team dealt with all the calls received. We have far less than we thought which we hope means residents found the information they needed on our website and through our partners.

Interestingly, a number of people have turned up at the Hive and are in the Café and the Soft Play. The Hive is now providing a safe place for people to go. We also provided all of our meals on wheels today.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is much better so we anticipate that the majority of our services will be able to operate as normal tomorrow but we will continue to assess the situation.

In the meantime, I would like to reassure you that our staff are fully committed to our emergency response and many have cancelled leave to work to ensure we can maintain services.

It is likely that damage and issues may continue to surface over the weekend so I would like to reassure you that we have out of hours arrangements in place to cover:

  • Building Control for dangerous structures
  • Repairs team to deal with any housing issues and support Building control if required
  • Homelessness to deal with homelessness issues including people made homeless by the storm.
  • Community services are on hand to set up a rest centre should residents be evacuated from an area
  • Communications team will be available over the weekend to update any messages if required. Please direct residents to Storm Eunice – Guildford Borough Council and our social media channels @guildfordbc on twitter, facebook, Instagram

We have also been advised that Surrey County Council have increased the number of crews responding to any highways issues to 14.

We have been made aware that there are a number of postcodes in the Borough who may be without power. The power companies are working to restore power and aim to have power back tonight.

If they don’t it is likely that the LRF will activate the Vulnerable People Plan which includes working with us and Surrey County Council to support anyone in need. If we are asked to support any vulnerable people we have contingencies in place.

The homelessness team remain available and ready to deal with any issues today or over the weekend.

We will continue to monitor over the weekend

Do you have news of Storm clear up work in Guildford to add, preferably with images? If so, please send to: guildford.dragon@gmail.com

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