Troops have been drafted to parts of Scotland following ‘catastrophic damage’ caused by Storm Arwen.
High winds and heavy snow brought devastation to the Grampian region where thousands of people have been stranded without electricity for almost a week.
Armed forces minister James Heappey confirmed this morning that 134 soldiers and Marines have been deployed to 12 hard-hit villages.
He told Sky News: ‘They are operating in teams of 10 and we think there are about 4,000 homes that they need to get around to.’
Personnel will focus on welfare checks in areas where communities are still impacted by the loss of power – Aboyne, Alford, Banchory, Banff, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff and Westhill.
Over the weekend, Storm Arwen brought winds of over 90mph and three people were killed by falling trees.
Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN), which distributes power to 3.7 million homes in central southern England and the north of Scotland, said the storm has caused ‘some of the worst damage we have experienced in over 15 years’.
The help comes after Aberdeenshire Council said it had approached the UK Government for military assistance.
Local authorities have even been forced to supply diesel generators to community hospitals and care homes.
A statement from the council said: ‘This will supplement what our teams have been doing since the weekend. We continue to appreciate all the great examples of community assistance.
‘Rest assured we continue to work tirelessly to provide the support our communities need at this challenging time.’
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