BT’s cables-and-poles division Openreach has warned that it will be working flat out to deal with repairs caused by this summer’s ongoing bad weather.
Openreach engineers have faced a to-do list of around 26,000 repairs and installations since the beginning of June, compared to the 16,000 jobs they’d expect to have under their belts.
With more storms ahead this week, they’ve warned of further delays in the worst hit areas: Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Portsmouth, Maidenhead, Exeter, Stoke, Mid-Wales, Truro, Reading, Gloucester, Shrewsbury and Hereford, Aylesbury, Lea Valley, Peterborough, and Bournemouth.
BT Openreach added a further warning today (June 22): “Despite a number of severe weather warnings in place today and heavy rain being experienced in many parts of the country, we continue to use all available resource to meet the challenges posed, however, with more extreme weather forecast over the weekend, with gale force winds hitting some regions, we anticipate another high intake of faults in the coming days.”
In a statement, BT Openreach said: “We’d planned for some extraordinary weather in June, but the recent second bout of rainfall and high winds have been particularly difficult, causing major disruption in many areas across the country with the South West, Wales, London, Sussex, Surrey and Kent all particularly badly hit.
“Our repair productivity has been impacted by high winds, rain and flooding, meaning jobs were delayed until safe to complete.
“We’re currently considering our plans for the coming weeks as the Met Office have warned that many parts of the country will see high winds, significant rainfall and hail in the next few days.”
Openreach engineers have been hard pressed throughout the stormy spring weather, having tackled a list of up to 24,000 jobs in May before the double Bank Holiday, by moving engineers around the country and working overtime.
Jobs are taking an average of 13 days before engineers can start work, but the good news is that Openreach expects to have its workload under control by the end of June.