Army brought in as 52,000 left without electricity

ESB trying to restore power despite bad weather

A power cut in Lili Petrik’s  home in Innishannon, Co Cork, following Storm Ophelia. Lili’s mother warms herbal tea using  tealights. The house is also without heating. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

A power cut in Lili Petrik’s home in Innishannon, Co Cork, following Storm Ophelia. Lili’s mother warms herbal tea using tealights. The house is also without heating. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

 

About 52,000 customers remained without electricity in Cork city and county on Wednesday with reconnection expected over the next two days.

ESB Networks South divisional manager Denis Cambridge said crews were continuing to work to restore power despite the bad weather.

“We are finding as we go off road to try to get to land, that is where we are having our biggest problems. We made a decision this morning to bring in the Army,” he said.

“The council looked after the road clearance and the Army are getting in to the nitty-gritty in terms of helping us get at our critical assets. That will help us get big numbers back in the shortest space of time.”

Power has returned to many areas, however, with Fermoy, Youghal, Kinsale, Clonakilty and Bandon reconnected.

With the possibility of another storm late on Friday, senior county engineer Aidan Weir said they were prioritising the removal of dangerous trees.

Cork County Council confirmed only one regional road remained blocked. The R579 Midleton to Dungourney road was still closed due to a large number of fallen trees and ongoing ESB repair work.

Irish Water, in consultation with the county council, was deploying tankers and static tanks in a number of locations throughout the county which continued to be affected by supply interruptions.

Meanwhile, thousands across the southeast remained without power on Wednesday as the clean-up continued.

Many of those still without electricity are in the south Wexford and south Waterford areas, but isolated pockets may not be reconnected until next Tuesday.

Waterford City and County Council has been keeping people up to date on road closures, with many still blocked.

Warned the public

Kilkenny County Council warned the public not to try to remove fallen trees and asked drivers to “travel with caution and expect obstructions on the road”.

Some local water supplies, including in the Galmoy area, had not been restored on Wednesday.

In Kilkenny city, the canal walk was closed due to fallen trees, while Castle Park was closed because of storm damage.

Inistioge National School remained closed after a tree fell on nearby power lines on Monday.

Several schools in Co Waterford were still closed on Wednesday because of storm damage. These included the national schools in Ballymacarbry, Passage East, Crooke and Kilbrien, as well as Scoil Mhuire in Butlerstown, outside the city, and Gaelscoil Phort Lairge in Ballygunner.

There were also areas still hit by water cuts and the county council has been supplying tankers and standpipes in fixed locations including Tallow, Rathgormack, Toureneena, Aglish, Carrigeen, Kilbrien, Kilmacthomas, Strancalley, Ballycurrane, and Stradbally.

ESB crews from the west were deployed to assist colleagues in the south for what the company described as the most serious weather-related event in its history.