Storm Arwen wreaks havoc in the city
Edinburgh was one of the worst-hit areas by Storm Arwen, which battered Scotland with winds of up to 100mph on Friday and Saturday. The storm caused widespread power cuts, travel disruption, and damage to homes and businesses across the city. Some residents were left without electricity, heating, or water for days, while others had to deal with fallen trees, damaged roofs, and flooded basements.
Council accused of neglecting residents in need
Many residents have expressed their frustration and anger at the city council for failing to provide adequate assistance and support to those affected by the storm. Some have claimed that the council was slow to respond to their calls, did not offer any emergency accommodation or financial aid, and did not clear the debris or repair the damage in a timely manner.
One of the residents who felt let down by the council was Sue Webber, a Conservative MSP for Lothian and a city councillor for Almond ward. She said that she had to evacuate her home in East Craigs after a tree crashed into her roof, leaving a hole that allowed rainwater to pour into her bedroom. She said that she contacted the council several times, but received no help or advice from them.
She said: “I am absolutely appalled by the lack of support from the council. They have been completely unresponsive and unhelpful. I have been living in a hotel for four days, paying out of my own pocket, and I have no idea when I can return to my home. The council has not offered me any alternative accommodation, any compensation, or any assistance with the repairs. They have not even sent anyone to inspect the damage or remove the tree. It is a disgrace.”
She added: “I am not the only one who has been affected by the storm. There are many other residents in my ward and across the city who have suffered similar or worse situations. Some have lost their power, their water, or their belongings. Some have had to sleep in their cars or in cold and damp houses. Some have had to deal with sewage backups or mould growth. The council has a duty to look after these people, but they have failed miserably.”
Council defends its response to the storm
The city council has defended its response to the storm, saying that it has been working hard to restore services and support residents. A council spokesperson said: “We recognise the impact that Storm Arwen has had on our residents and businesses, and we apologise for any inconvenience or distress caused. We have been working around the clock to deal with the aftermath of the storm, and we have mobilised all available resources to assist those in need.”
The spokesperson said that the council has:
- Restored power to more than 20,000 properties in partnership with Scottish Power
- Distributed more than 2,000 litres of bottled water to households without water supply
- Provided more than 100 emergency heaters to vulnerable residents
- Cleared more than 500 fallen trees and branches from roads and pavements
- Repaired more than 100 street lights and traffic signals
- Offered advice and guidance to residents on how to claim insurance or access financial support
- Set up a dedicated helpline and email address for residents to report any issues or request any assistance
The spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to help our residents recover from the storm, and we appreciate their patience and understanding. We urge anyone who needs any support or assistance to contact us as soon as possible, and we will do our best to help them.”