Up to 80,000 without power overnight as storm on way
ESB working ‘against the clock’ to complete repairs before next storm tomorrow
Between 60,000 and 80,000 homes and businesses will remain without power overnight after after damage due to the storm that battered the country with gusts of up to 160km/h yesterday.
The ESB said it is working “against the clock” before the next of the bad weather sets in tomorrow . It has issued a list of townlands which will remain without power overnight here. Met Eireann forecaster Gerald Fleming said another “nasty weather system” is lined up for Friday with “very heavy rain and potentially strong winds”.
While hurricane-force winds are not predicted tomorrow , Met Éireann has issued weather alerts for heavy rainfall, gale force winds, snow and ice across the country.
More funds will be needed to help repair damage to public infrastructure, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said today.
Speaking following a meeting of the Government’s emergency weather committee, Mr Hogan said the €70m storm relief fund announced earlier this week would only cover damage caused by storms in December and January. “This is a rolling maul and we’ve had eight storms. The Government is keeping this under review,”he said.
This evening the ESB said it has restored power to 145,000 customers since last night but 115,000 remain without power.
“This is once of the biggest clean-up operations Ihave ever experienced” Denis Cambridge, ESB divisional manager for the south said.
He described the clean-up from one of the worst storms since records began as “mammoth”. The company has pulled resources form “every part of the company and beyond to get the lights back on he said.
ESB: Townlands without overnight power
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In Cork and Kerry alone the company has over 3,200 individual faults to get to, he said.
The number of individual faults identified in the system is 8,000, ESB said. Some 1,000 wooden poles are needed along with 250km of conductors and 400 transformers, it said. The company “cannot guarantee” when power will be restored but “all resources” have been deployed, it said.
A massive clean-up is under way across the country The ESB has deployed helicopters to survey the storm damage and to assist in locating dangerous faults.
Over 2000 ESB staff, supported by contractors and crews from Northern Ireland have been mobilised to the worst affected areas.
The company said is still too early to give customers accurate restoration times but that reports of dangerous situations would be addressed “as a priority”.
More detailed information will be provided on expected restoration times as the damage is being assessed.
The company said surveys of the damage showed there were many trees down across lines, lines down, broken poles and equipment damage as result of flying debris, along with transformers which need to be replaced.
ESB Networks has called on the public for assistance but said only those who can report the location of damage to the electricity network should call. Members of the public wishing to report the location of a fault should call 1850 372 999.
A safety warning has also been issued to those clearing storm debris: “Wires should not be approached or touched in any circumstances. These wires may be live and can be extremely dangerous. All those involved in the clean up operation especially if clearing timber and other debris, need to be especially careful where there are fallen wires.”
Customers could check ESB Networks Powercheck app, www.esbpowercheck.ie, to see if their outage has been identified and logged. The twitter feed @ESBNetworks will be supplied with live information as it is received.
Information on damage to network can be logged on the company’s website.
Meanwhile Eircom says some 100,000 customers are without service.There are some 200 small exchanges impacted as a result of lack of power or structural damage while mobile coverage has also been affected, it says.
Particularly high fault volumes are in Limerick, Carlow, Cork, Tipperary, Wexford , Kerry and Waterford.