Thousands remain without electricity in North after snow storms

Nothern Ireland Electricity say weather is improving but snow still blocking roads

Crews making emergency repairs to the electricity network after fierce snow storms in Northern Ireland disrupted services. Photograph: PA

Crews making emergency repairs to the electricity network after fierce snow storms in Northern Ireland disrupted services. Photograph: PA

Sun, Mar 24, 2013, 15:23

Around 12,500 electricity customers are still cut off in Northern Ireland because of bad weather, the network company said. Emergency repair crews worked into the night to restore power to thousands of homes.

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) said the weather was improving but snow was still blocking roads.

Calls to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service had to be received by call handlers in Scotland for a period last night after power outages caused interrupted service.

Water supplies to most homes have been restored.

Julia Carson, NIE communications manager, said: “The weather does seem to be improving, wind speeds have dropped, but due to the extent of the damage across northern and eastern counties it may be a few days before customers are back on supply.”

“Some roads are still impassable, access has also been restricted because of drifting snow, and abandoned vehicles, they’re also causing access problems for us.”

The situation has improved for many since yesterday morning, when 35,000 electricity customers were cut off and up to 1,000 homes were without water.

The M1 has reopened fully northbound at J20 Jonesborough following a landslide in the area yesterday.

Snow fell overnight in Co Monaghan so care is needed on secondary routes. Met Éireann are forecasting light snowfall for counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal and Louth today. Light snow showers are also forecast for the Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath areas.

All Jonathan Swift fast ferry sailings have been cancelled today. Passengers will be accommodated on the cruise ferry Ulysses. All other ferry sailings are operating as normal.

Power cuts and travel disruption continue across Britain today, as more snow falls across the country on another bitterly cold day.

The harsh weather is thought to have led to the death of a 27-year-old, whose body was yesterday discovered in deep snow by a farmer near Burnley, Lancashire. The young man went missing while walking home in freezing weather after a night with friends.

Additional reporting: PA