A POWER company will be drafting in extra staff this week as three storms are set to batter south Essex.

The Met Office has issued three weather warnings for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday as experts predict there will be torrential downpours and gusts of up to 70mph.

Residents are being urged to be on alert as there could be power cuts, fallen trees and localised flooding.

UK Power Networks, which is responsible for the county’s electricity network, says it is working closely with the Met Office and will be bringing in extra staff to cope with any storm damage.

A spokesman from the company said: “We are monitoring the weather closely and are in close contact with the Met Office as the forecast develops.

"Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can affect overhead power lines when tree branches and windborne debris damage them. Our emergency plans mean we have brought in additional staff covering engineer, technical and call centre roles.

"Our priorities are always to restore supplies as quickly as is safely possible and keep people informed as best we can during a constantly changing situation. We would remind anyone who spots a damaged power line to stay well clear and report it to us.”

Residents who may suffer a power cut are advised to keep torches and spare batteries around, check in on elderly neighbours, and switch off all electrical equipment except one light to show when the power is restored.

Customers can report any power cut or damaged power lines to us by ringing 0800 783 8838.