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‘Worst weather in 100 years’ keeps BT engineers at their limits

The worst weather in the history of BT and the GPO has engineers working around the clock, with emergency conditions declared in 17 of Openreach’s 73 UK regions.

If you’re waiting for a fix, spare a thought for the engineers on extra shifts putting poles back up and pumping water from flooded underground chambers.

The infrastructure provider this week lifted one emergency state in Peterborough, but declared new crisis conditions in Bournemouth, South East Scotland, Durham and Tees Valley, York, Leeds and West Yorkshire.

BT engineer at work

In a statement to customers BT Openreach said: “We’re aware that there are only so many ways we can say that the sustained bad weather we have experienced since April is severely impacting our network.

“However, you’ll have seen in the news that no amount of preparation and investment in flood defences has been a match for this prolonged period of extreme weather, the worst in over 100 years.

“Whilst it is of little comfort at present, it is important to note that although the repair work stack stands at 30,000 (double the average for this time of year), this is over 30 per cent lower than this time in 2007 – when the jet stream last made a misery of the British Summer (but in a far less dramatic fashion).”

The latest areas to receive emergency status have seen an 86 per cent increase in repair calls since the beginning of July, and engineers have been asked to work on Saturday or Sunday for nine out of the coming 12 weekends.

BT’s Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control orders continue for Brighton, Portsmouth, Highlands and Islands, Northumberland and Wearside, Leicester, Derby, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, North East Scotland, Cumbria, Shrewsbury and Hereford, and Nottingham. 

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