Storm Arwen: Fife still assessing cost of damage caused by extreme weather

Storm Arwen’s impact will continue to be felt in Fife for some time to come, the region’s chief executive has said.

By Craig Smith, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 1:23 pm

People across the Kingdom are still counting the cost of the extreme weather which brought damaging 80-90mph winds to the eastern side of the country on Friday night into Saturday morning.

Up to 80,000 homes were left without power throughout Scotland, with some properties in the north east of Scotland still shut off some six days later, while transport disruption and road closures were also widespread.

Fife was one of the regions to be worst hit, and Fife Council chief executive Steve Grimmond used Thursday’s full council meeting to praise all those staff in various services who were mobilised in response.

Fallen trees in Ravenscraig Park, Kirkcaldy

However, such was the havoc wreaked by Storm Arwen, Mr Grimmond confirmed repairs and the clean-up operation will continue well into the new year.

“There remains significant remedial work to clear-up storm damage that we will be progressing over the coming weeks, recognising that it will disrupt some normal seasonal work that would normally be undertaken over this period,” he said.

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“That includes addressing significant damage to fence lines and the clearance of debris for drainage and road gullies.”

Steve Grimmond, chief executive, Fife Council

Mr Grimmond said Fife had dealt with a “high volume” of community alarm calls, largely caused by alarm failures, but confirmed all contacts were followed up to ensure users were safe.

The council worked with ScottishPower Energy Networks across the weekend to prioritise the offer of food and accommodation to those without power, with around 350 homes still without power on Sunday eventually seeing services restored on Monday.

Fallen trees caused major problems, Mr Grimmond added, as over 50 trees in north east Fife alone had to be moved in the immediate aftermath.

The A911 Queensway in Glenrothes, the A955 and the A915 Standing Stane Road were both fully reopened on Saturday, although the B937 Giffordtown to Collessie road and the C23 at Cadgers Brae near Freuchie were not reopened until Monday because of of fallen trees becoming entangled with power lines.

Mr Grimmond added that the situation was compounded by freezing temperatures, although gritters were diverted to ensure priority routes were treated.

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