Teachers have started getting training to help identify youngsters with problems.
Power Back On - But More Bad Weather Hits
Southern Electric says all homes left without power after last Monday's storms have now been reconnected.
130,000 homes lost supplies at one point after the heavy rain and strong winds which hit the South Coast on Monday 23 December. Thousands were left without any electricity for up to a week.
In a statement on Sunday 29 December, the power firm said:
"Southern Electric Power Distribution teams have successfully restored electricity to homes affected by the devastating high winds and flooding that hit the UK on 23/24 December.
"Engineering teams have now restored power to around 130,000 homes in total, with around 90,000 affected at the peak of the storm."
Director of Distribution Stuart Hogarth said:
"In some of the most challenging working conditions we have ever faced our teams were determined to restore every customer's home affected by the storm both safely and as soon as practically possible. Conditions were some of the worst we have ever seen with extensive widespread flooding, impassable roads and large fallen trees.
"Although we have now restored electricity to customers affected by the storm, our staff are still working in the areas affected to restore the electricity network to normal. We would like to thank our customers for their patience particularly at this time of year while we restored the electricity to their homes and the teams who have worked so hard.
"Because of the rural nature of our area we needed many staff to reach small numbers of outlying customers. Hundreds of staff have taken part in this effort both in the field and in supporting roles. We are now concentrating our efforts over the coming days to continue our restoration work on parts of our network which have been severely damaged and we will be using helicopters today to give us an aerial view of our network."
Affected customers who had to pay out for hot meals and accommodation are being offered compensation. Southern Electric said:
"Our focus has been on restoring supplies to those customers who were without power, and our hard-working engineers made good progress in the more remote areas where access was extremely difficult and the damage severe. For those customers who accepted our offer we are reimbursing their food and hotel expenses, and can assure them that we will focus our attention on the issue of compensation.
"We acknowledge our customers were without power at a very important time of the year and our compensation payments will reflect this fact and also address any specific issues customers may have had on a case by case basis. In the meantime if a customer has been off supply for more than 48 hours they should write to Customer Relations, SSEPD Walton Park, Walton Road, Portsmouth
Meanwhile, the South Coast is in for more bad weather this morning (Monday 30 December), with the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for wind and heavy rain also expected. They are warning of gales of up to 70mph.
Environment Agency flood alerts are in place for many areas of Dorset, including:
- Christchurch Harbour and tidal stretches of the Lower Stour and Avon
- Castletown, Weymouth, Preston Beach, Swanage Bay, Studland Bay, Sandbanks, Poole Harbour, Bournemouth Beach and Hengistbury Head
- Poole Harbour and tidal stretches of the Lower Frome and River Piddle
- Corfe Castle and Swanage areas
- the River Wey to Radipole Lake, Preston Brook and River Jordan
- Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Seatown, West Bay, Bothenhampton, Burton Freshwater, Burton Bradstock, Cogdean Beach, Chesil Beach, West Fleet, East Fleet and Chiswell.
The Environment Agency says to 'be prepared to protect yourself, family, pets and property' and 'be careful along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads.' Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for up-to-date flooding information.
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