Public update on Storm Arwen

By bellmannews / November 30, 2021
Aberdeenshire council logo

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Issue Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Service Points/Helpline

  • HAC (assistance centre) Storm Arwen – telephone 0808 1963 384 – will now be operating from 8am to 8pm to provide assistance/signposting to residents
  • Aberdeenshire Council Service Points also continue to provide that assistance to communities


  • Care of People continues to be our major focus along with partners and there continues to be a wealth of local community activity and support taking place across Aberdeenshire and as part of that we are talking with local community leaders to see what additional support is required and in which key location
  • The welfare centre at Victoria and Albert Hall in Ballater continues to operate and the Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar had diesel and food delivered by us, now has full power and continues to provide community assistance
  • In conjunction with SSEN we are planning a joint approach with partners to make contact with vulnerable groups within those communities still affected by the aftermath of Storm Arwen
  • Following confirmation from SSEN that there is now power provision at the following locations, we are opening up welfare centres this afternoon to provide hot food, drinks and bottled water
  • We also have two identified facilities to act as 24/7 rest centres should there be an identified need within the community
  • This is a precautionary approach meantime – if our teams find that communities already have provision and are coping, we will look to divert our support to other communities which need that support and will promote accordingly

MARR – hot food from 2.30-4pm

  • Aboyne – The Aboyne and Glentanar Victory Hall, Ballater Road, Aboyne, AB34 5HD
  • Alford – The Alford Public Hall, 3 Kingsford Road, AB33 8HH
  • Gartly – The Gartly Community Hall (Tin Hut), Craggiemhor Kirkney, Huntly, AB54 4QD (24/7 rest centre if required)
  • Lumsden – Lumsden Community Hall, The Square, Lumsden, AB54 4GQ
  • Rhynie – No 14, the Square, Rhynie, AB54 4HD
  • Strathdon – Lonach Hall, Strathdon, AB36 8UN
  • Torphins – Learney Hall, 9 Beltie Road, Torhpins, AB31 4JT
  • Monymusk – The Square, Monymusk, AB51 7HJ – food delivered from community hall

BANFF & BUCHAN – hot food from 3-4pm

  • Boyndie/Hilton – Hilton Hall, AB45 3AQ (24/7 rest centre if required)


  • Local arrangements in place


  • Local arrangements in place

FORMARTINE – hot food from 3-4pm

  • Auchterless Primary School – catering van
  • Birkenhill – Birkenhills Community Centre, 1 Lendrum Road, AB53 8EQ

BUCHAN (school estate) – hot food from 3-4pm

  • Auchnagatt Primary School
  • Boddam Primary School
  • Crimond Primary School
  • Hatton (Cruden) Primary School
  • New Deer Primary School

SSEN catering vans update (Scottish Water bottled water points also here):

  • Bellabeg, Strathdon – Lay-by across from the shop
  • Kintore – Primary School
  • Aboyne – Park Hotel Car Park
  • Alford – Transport Museum Car Park
  • Torphins – In the Square
  • Turriff – Tesco Car Park
  • Rhynie – Church Car Park
  • Ballater – Victoria Hall
  • Tarland – In the Square


  • We are pleased to confirm the return to school tomorrow for the majority of Aberdeenshire’s staff and pupils
  • Assessment of all 170 Aberdeenshire schools has been completed to assess storm damage, access routes, and check if power, heating and water supplies are operational. Repairs are complete or underway where necessary and we are continuing to put safety first
  • We are still problem solving in some areas, with power connection being the main barrier to re-opening some facilities. If your school is listed below, it will NOT re-open tomorrow based on the current information we have:


Alford Academy (closed for S1 to S3 and open for S4 to S6 pupils only)

Kemnay Academy











Kind Edward







St Andrews (Fraserburgh)

St Cyrus





  • We will update the school closures page of our website this evening and in to tomorrow, and if the status changes for your school you will receive a notification directly from your school. Visit: 
  • If you use school transport, this will run as normal
  • Director of Education and Children’s Services Laurence Findlay is keen to thank everyone for their patience. He said: “We are getting there and look forward to welcoming many of our young people back tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who has gone above and beyond during these difficult few days, whether that’s helping with schools or setting up provisions for those who need it. We understand many families are still without power and we are here to support you, alongside a variety of partner organisations including Police Scotland and the Red Cross as well as many local groups, businesses and volunteers. Please use the assistance centre number below if you need it. And if your school is open but you can’t get there please don’t worry – school staff will work with you. The wellbeing of families comes first.”
  • The storm assistance centre line remains open until 10pm tonight. Call 08081963384 for advice on where you can access welfare facilities, free hot meals and financial advice and assistance
  • Children’s services social work teams are also open and available: 
  • Those who are entitled to statutory free school meals will receive an additional payment this week to make up for the two days missed in school, plus more if your school is closed for longer


  • Met Office have forecast a deterioration in conditions in coming days – winds gusting up to 60mph along coastal areas Wednesday/Thursday


  • More communities have been reconnected today (Tues) following another robust improvement in connections over recent days – around 8,500 household still without power
  • SSEN have advised network remains fragile and is more likely to suffer additional damage in the event of bad weather
  • Some communities reporting getting power reconnected then falling off – this is to be expected as the wider network is worked on – Hatton, Cruden Bay and Boddam some of the known areas affected – and that may continue over the coming days
  • Anyone seeking reimbursement of accommodation or food costs as a result of the power outage caused by Storm Arwen should contact SSEN as follows:
  1. E-mail with a photograph of the receipt. It would be helpful if the subject of the e-mail was “Storm Arwen – Refund of Costs”
  2. Send a letter to Aberdeen Depot, 200 Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, AB16 5NY with the receipt

Scottish Water

  • Around 3,500 households still without supplies
  • Remains committed to providing 10 litres per person per day to affected households
  • Engineers on-site utilising generators to reinstate water supplies in affected areas until mains power is restored
  • The Scottish Water emergency response is also contacting those households with private water supplies which cannot be accessed


  • Vodaphone remains down in many areas – O2 down across most of the region – awaiting power feeds

Environment and Sustainability Services

  • All Household Recycling Centres now open
  • Household waste/recycling collections will be carried out but there may be some disruption due to the weather
  • Day Centre transport will operate where required
  • A2B operating in its entirety today (Tues) both in-house and Central Buchan operated by Kinmonth. A2B customers called yesterday and advised of update
  • Ready2Go is still not running.  A robust telecoms system is required to operate – an emergency timetables service was introduced today from Insch and Rothienorman to Inverurie and another vehicle is in standby if we get a call for an emergency such as requirements to attend medical centre etc. The team has been calling Ready2Go customers and pushing notifications through the App

Health and Social Care Partnership

  • All our vaccination Centres and Learning Disability Day Services re-opened today. Our Homecare, Learning Disability, Mental Health and social work teams continue to make phone and house calls to vulnerable residents and services users to ensure that everyone is safe and cared for
  • On the health side, our community nursing teams and Allied Health professionals (Dieticians, Physio etc) have also been checking in on clients and those identified as vulnerable and will continue to make house calls where required
  • Across the area there are still some Care Homes that are not connected to mains power but all now have generator power and we continue to liaise with colleagues to ensure that hot food is provided to those that require it


  • Teams reprioritised to focus on emergency responses
  • Focus remains on ensuring anyone requiring support is re-housed and Tenancy Services diverting from normal work to contact all vulnerable residents initially, followed by all residents to ensure they are okay and putting resources into sheltered housing to ensure that we have appropriate cover

Live Life Aberdeenshire

  • LLA leisure facilities remain closed today for all leisure activities, but the following are open for community access to hot showers, WiFi and mobile phone/device charging:
  1. Deveron Community and Sports Centre
  2. Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre
  3. Peterhead Leisure and Community Centre
  4. Ellon Academy Community Campus
  5. Turriff Swimming Pool
  6. Inverurie Community Campus
  7. Westhill Pool
  8. Portlethen Pool (from 4pm)
  9. Stonehaven Leisure Centre
  10. Huntly Pool


  • Continued message is to stay indoors and avoid travel where possible
  • Work continues to clear windblown debris from the road network as well as carry out winter maintenance. Small number of rural roads still affected by fallen trees with some lying on power lines.
  • Landowners being contacted by ourselves to check tree belt along road network for damaged trees
  • Coordinated approach continues with local estates, landowners and chainsaw operators

Forestry and land Scotland

  • Forestry and Land Scotland is urging members of the public to stay away from its forests in the wake of Storm Arwen as it continues to assess the levels of damage and the associated risks to public safety. The high winds have blown down a number of trees – blocking trails and forest roads and causing other damage. There is also the risk posed by hanging trees – those that have been blown over but have been caught on standing trees or trapping power cables