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Army deployed to help those stranded by Storm Arwen

The Army has been called in to help those left stranded by Storm Arwen. 

Some have been without heating, power and water for a week, after the first named storm of the season battered the UK with 100mph winds. 

The north of the country was worst-hit, with fallen trees and snow cutting off entire communities.

Now, military personnel will be deployed in Aboyne, Alford, Banchory, Banff, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff and Westhill to support the response to the storm. 

Conservative Member of Scottish Parliament Alex Burnett tweeted: They will check on vulnerable people in their homes and conduct door-to-door checks. 

"Please do not hesitate to message me or email if you or someone you know needs assistance."

A statement from Aberdeenshire Council said: "Following a formal approach to the UK Government for assistance, around 120 military personnel will be arriving in Aberdeenshire this morning to support our ongoing resilience efforts in the aftermath of Storm Arwen.

"The troops will focus on welfare checks on the ground within those communities still impacted by loss of power and will supplement what our own teams have been doing since the weekend.

"We continue to appreciate all the wonderful examples of community assistance which continue to be evident across the region – whether it be supplies of hot food and drinks, checking on elderly residents and neighbours or helping to deliver supplies.

"Thank you for all your endeavours and rest assured we continue to work tirelessly to provide the support our communities require at this challenging time."

Residents left 'inconsolable and scared' 

A resident whose home lost power after Storm Arwen has described feeling "inconsolable and scared" as she faces a sixth night without central heating.

Thousands of people have been left without electricity after winds reaching almost 100mph hit parts of northern England and Scotland, ripping down power lines, uprooting trees and causing debris blockages on roads.

Jessica May Teasdale, 35, whose home in Stanley, County Durham, lost power on Friday evening, described the experience as a "nightmare" and said her region has been "abandoned" by the Government.

Ms Teasdale, an architectural ironmonger, said: "It's a nightmare... we're inconsolable and scared, are we going to get even more ill to the point where it's pneumonia?

"I was in tears this morning, just thinking, 'is it ever going to end?'

"Our health is deteriorating each day because we're constantly in the cold.

"It feels like we've been forgotten about. I mean, not to be sad but I don't even want to wake up tomorrow."

Meanwhile, in the Peak District 

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Could be 'very long time' before electricity is fully restored

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng described the storm as unlike any other, and promised to do everything possible to restore power to homes affected before Christmas.

In Parliament, Conservative Richard Holden told MPs including Mr Kwarteng that a rural surgery in his North West Durham constituency had lost £10,000 of flu vaccines when its fridges cut out.

He said some remote communities have been warned it could be a "very long time" before their electricity supply is fully restored.

Mr Kwarteng replied: "Being without power until Christmas is simply unacceptable, I'll say that publicly, and I'll do everything I can to make sure that that doesn't happen.

"Clearly, Storm Arwen was an event the likes of which we haven't seen for certainly 60 years since the record starts.

"We have to be prepared for similarly extreme, difficult weather conditions in the future. We have to make sure that our system is resilient in that eventuality."

He said it was "unacceptable" that people were left waiting up to two hours to get through to a power cut emergency phone number over the weekend.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said at least 7,000 homes in his Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency have been without power for between three and five nights and feel "forgotten".

Some have been told they will be without power for another week, and he urged the Government to send in the Army to help.

Mary Kelly Foy, Labour MP for Durham City, said the power outages are a "national scandal".

The Energy Networks Association said electricity has been restored to 97% of those affected but it will be at least the end of the week - seven days after the storm - before it is back on for a minority.

Welfare centres and hot food have been provided, with energy network companies working with local resilience forums, emergency services, local authorities and the British Red Cross.

Engineers from across the UK have been sent to the worst-affected areas.

Energy minister Greg Hands visited Weardale, County Durham, on Wednesday and met Northern Powergrid engineers to thank them for their efforts.

He said about 3,000 homes in the St John's Chapel area had lost power, which should be down to the "few hundreds" by Wednesday night.

The minister was also expected to visit Northern Powergrid's Newcastle call centre, his department said.

Mr Kwarteng has previously warned that weather events like Storm Arwen could become more frequent due to climate change.

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