Engineers race against time to restore utilities for Christmas

Cold weather has caused chaos to the nations utilities cracking pipes have left thousands of people without gas or power.

National Grid engineers are gradually restoring gas supplies to East Barnet in London and Caddington in Luton.

The pipes burst on Saturday (December 19) and engineers are working to restore supplies, while EDF has managed to fix problems that left thousands of people without power in the east of England.

National Grid said it had drafted in extra engineers as 1000 homes in East Barnet are without gas after a water pipe burst and flooded the mains.

Terry Penny, National Grid's incident controller, said: "A huge amount of water got into the gas network and it is taking time to pump out, at present it is too early to say when all gas supplies will be restored."

Around 1300 homes in Caddington have been without a gas supply after water from another burst pipe poured into the village's gas mains.

Engineers have started to reconnect homes, however there is still water in the gas mains in the south west of the village and engineers are not yet able to reconnect all supplies

Harry Buchanan, National Grid head of emergency for gas distribution, said: "Safety is our top priority and it is essential people wait for an engineer to call so that we can reconnect their supply safely.

"We know this is a difficult time for residents and thank them for their patience as we work to get their gas supply restored as soon as we can."

EDF Energy Networks staff restored power to thousands of customers whose supplies were affected by severe snow and ice across the East of England.

Engineers worked in what the company said were 'difficult conditions', to restore supplies to customers who have been without power from Thursday (December 17).

The worst affected areas were King's Lynn, Peterborough, Clacton and Colchester, but power was restored the following day (December 18).

A spokesman said: "We do appreciate how difficult it can be to lose power for such a long time, especially in cold weather, and apologise for the inconvenience caused."

Luke Walsh


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