ESB says up to 25,000 will remain without power overnight

Major line fault last night left 8,000 homes without electricity in Kerry

A man battles the wind in Dublin during Storm Darwin on Wednesday.   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

A man battles the wind in Dublin during Storm Darwin on Wednesday. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 18:02

The ESB said this evening that up to 25,000 customers are likely to remain without power tonight following storm Darwin.
 
Crews restored power to 35,000 customers today, bringing the total number of customers to 245,000 who have had their electricity restored  since Wednesday.
 
Speaking today, Paul Mulvaney, ESB customer services manager, said that while good progress was made today, the speed of restoration was likely to slow down tomorrow as the average number of customers affected by each individual fault drops. 
 
“A huge number of the remaining faults have been caused by trees falling on lines, so it could take a crew half a day to remove the branches and repair the line, yet they might only restore power to two or three customers,” he said.  
 
Earlier today, ESB Networks published an updated list on its website of estimated restoration times for towns and villages over the coming days. This will be regularly updated as more information becomes available.  
 
It will be early next week before all of the isolated faults, affecting some 6,000 individual customers  around the country, will be repaired.  
 
“The improved weather conditions have helped crews today, however ground conditions are still extremely bad with many areas completely waterlogged, so access is still very difficult”, said Mr. Mulvaney. 
 
People who come across fallen lines, or those who are working on the clean up operation should take particular care if they are working in the vicinity of power lines. 
 
Met Éireann is warning that it will turn very cold later this evening with a widespread sharp to severe frost and the risk of icy patches. Temperatures could fall as low as minus 3 degrees. Showers will however die out and winds will further ease. 

ESB Networks said yesterday’s bad weather compounded the problems in some areas. It said a major line fault, which occurred at 9pm last night, left up to 8,000 customers without power in the Inch to Dingle area in Co Kerry.

It said almost 3,000 people are working to repair the network, and the customer contact centre is taking calls 24 hours a day. The centre can be contacted at 1850372999.

Updates will be provided as they become available during the day here: http://updatesfromesb.com

The worst-affected areas of the country were Arklow, Enniscorthy, Killarney, Dunmanway, Bandon, Ennis, and Tralee, as well as parts of Co Limerick and Roscrea, Newcastlewest and Co Tipperary. .

Clare County Council said this morning power has been restored to all of the County’s water treatment plants following Wednesday’s severe storm. However, it said some customers may experience water pressure issues during the weekend while reservoirs are replenished.

The co-ordination group said yesterday that that poor conditions would remain around the country for the foreseeable future but would not be as extreme as storms earlier this week which led to severe damage. Cork city last night escaped a repeat of that flooding when high tide in the Rriver Lee passed off without significant problems after the wind direction changed and flood waters from the Lee Valley briefly breached the quay walls as it flowed through the city.

Cork City Council had warned traders and others living in low-lying areas of the city centre of the threat of flooding along Morrisson's Island, French's Quay, Wandesford Quay as well as on to the South Mallwith a high tide and storm surge expected to reach 2.6m. But the combination of high tide and storm surge reached just 2.44m only 4cm above the quay walls on the South Channel, resulting in minor road flooding on Morrisson's Island and Wandesford Quay with the rest of the city centre escaping unscathed.

City centre traders had been taking precautions from early afternoon, availing of offers of gel bags from Cork City Council, while builders' providers, Brooks Haughton distributed some 300 sandbags to the business people along Oliver Plunkett Street and side streets.