Power outages affecting 24,000 homes could last until 8pm Friday

ESB crews reconnected 83,000 customers overnight and continue to work today

A snow plough  on the N11 at The Glen of the Downs on Friday morning. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

A snow plough on the N11 at The Glen of the Downs on Friday morning. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

About 24,000 homes and businesses around Ireland remain without power on Friday following overnight blizzard conditions that tore through the country.

Despite the conditions, ESB Network crews managed to reconnect 83,000 customers overnight.

A spokesman said that while the picture was constantly changing, most areas will be without power until about 8pm or 9pm on Friday.

While crews are doing everything possible, there are some problems with access, particularly to low voltage lines which require engineers to cross fields and access smaller roads.

Those based within the greater Dublin area and on the East coast are the worst affected.

The most up-to-date estimations on restoration of power can be found on the ESB’s Powercheck app.

Outside the capital, clusters of service outages have been reported around Drogheda in Co Louth, Kells in Co Meath, Skerries and Swords in north Co Dublin, and around Naas and Newbridge in Co Kildare.

Further south there are disruptions in several areas of Wicklow as far south as Enniscorthy, and on the Waterford and Cork coastlines.

Crews are operating around the country when it is deemed safe to do so.

While snow and ice does not normally cause significant damage to the electricity network, the blizzard-like conditions that took hold of the country since Thursday have been severe.

“We are still working towards getting everyone restored as quickly and safely as possible. Estimated restoration times vary,” a spokesman said.

“It depends a lot on access which is the primary issue. Crews are out and they were out last night around substations but the faults are being looked at on a case by case basis.”

Even though thousands are without power, the numbers, holding at around 30,000, are significantly less than the worst impact of Storm Ophelia which had about 385,000 customers cut off at its peak.

At the height of last night’s storm, there were 117,000 homes and businesses without electricity at about 1.30am.

Overnight, ESB Networks operations staff rerouted power remotely from its control centre which saw services returned to 83,000 customers.

The largest fault occurred at Ringsend 110kV station in Dublin in the early hours of the morning.

It is a bulk electricity supply point for the east and south of Dublin city and its failure resulted in electricity being lost in 90,000 homes and businesses.

Power was later restored to almost all of those affected.