Major clean-up operation after storm Eleanor continues

ESB repair crews reconnected the last customers cut off during the storm on Thursday night

Local authority staff and ESB Networks repair crews continued the major clean-up operation through Thursday following flooding and damage caused by storm Eleanor earlier this week.

The vast majority of ESB customers whose power was cut off due to the storm were reconnected to the grid by 10pm on Wednesday night. Crews continued to work through Thursday to reconnect another 300 affected customers, and the final few homes and businesses without power were reconnected on Thursday evening. Overall around 150,000 customers lost power due to the storm.

Gale force winds and heavy rain brought further flooding over Wednesday night along the south and west coasts, and in Kerry several roads were blocked on Thursday due to flooding and fallen trees.

In Galway city private business owners, residents and the local authority continued the major clean-up effort following the heavy flooding in several parts of the city.

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Galway City Council environment crews spent most of Thursday clearing washed up debris and stones from roads in the city centre, particularly near areas like the Spanish Arch.

The council sourced humidifier machines to help dry out premises affected by the flooding, as well as pumping out submerged areas. Council staff also assisted residents and business owners in disposing items and furniture that were wrecked by the floodwaters. Kerry County Council crews were also deployed to clear roads of fallen debris and trees.

High Tide

There were fears that strong winds and high tides would lead to further flooding in low lying areas of Cork city on Thursday morning, however the high tide at 7am came and went with only very minor flooding.

The Irish Red Cross are administering an emergency support fund for small businesses, sports clubs and community groups affected by the flooding. Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe announced the fund would be open to groups on Wednesday.

The fund provides an initial €5,000 and a further €20,000 for eligible groups to meet repair costs of reopening. The scheme is open until the end of the month, and it is anticipated the majority of applications will be submitted nearer to the closing date.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks had restored power to all customers affected by the storm by late Thursday night. The final 40 faults in the grid required "significant work" on Thursday to restore such as cutting down trees, according to a spokeswoman. In total the storm cut off power to around 25,000 customers across Northern Ireland.

Most of the country is forecast to be dry on Friday, but there will be a risk of widespread "severe frosts" and icy stretches on surfaces and roads, according to Met Éireann.

Saturday will be bright but very cold, with highest temperatures ranging from 4 to 7 degrees. Sunday is also to be very cold, with sub-zero temperatures and frost set to come in overnight.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times