independent

Friday 18 April 2014

ESB confirms that 200,000 families will wake up with no power

A large tree is blown down by the severe conditions in Wexford. Twitter credit: @DunbrodyHouse

More than a quarter million people have lost their electricity supply.

Storm Darwin has left 260,000 people without power and 200,000 will remain without power for the night.

Power has been restored to 45,000 customers and a further 15,000 should be reconnected later tonight.

Referring to the storms and resultant loss of power over the Christmas period, ESB have said Storm Darwin is “of a totally different order of magnitude, and will take longer to repair”.

ESB repair crews are currently out at locations across the country – but it’s estimated some 200,000 customers will be without power overnight.

The areas worst affected are:

• Bandon, 16,000

• Fermoy, 13,000

• Killarney,  11,000

• Dunmanway, 15,000

Cork City, 6,000

• Portlaoise/Kilkenny, 13,000

• Waterford/Clonmel, 20,000

• Newcastlewest,  14,000

• Tralee,  26,000

• Thurles, 13,000

• Roscrea, 6,000

• Ennis, 10,000

• Limerick, 6,000

• Enniscorthy, 19,000

ESB said “hurricane force winds with gusts of up to 177km per have caused widespread damage to the electricity network.

The company said that homes in the south and west of the country were worst affected.

Falling trees, debris and broken poles have led to more than 4,000 faults across the networks since mid-morning.

“The electricity network has sustained extensive damage as a result of today’s storms, and we are dealing with a situation that is as bad if not worse than anything that we have seen in the past decade,” said Managing Director of ESB Networks Jerry O’Sullivan.

 “ESB Networks crews have been working throughout the day to restore power, however extremely dangerous conditions are hampering their efforts and will mean that up to 200,000 customer may be without power overnight. 

“In December, gusts of up to 130km per hour caused widespread damage to the electricity network and left 80,000 customers without power.

“ The devastation caused by today’s storms is of a totally different order of magnitude, and will take longer to repair. 

“We are mobilising crews from across the country to the worst affected areas and will be doing everything possible to restore power to customers as quickly as we can. However, customers who need a constant supply of electricity for medical or other purposes are advised to make alternative arrangements. Right now, safety is our number one priority and we are asking members of the public  to report any safety concerns relating to the electricity network to our emergency line at 1850372999,” he said.

ESB Networks is experiencing large volumes of calls to its call centre, so where possible, customers are advised to check the ESB Network Powercheck app, http://www.esbpowercheck.ie, to see if their outage has been identified and logged. Regular updates will also be provided through local radio and ESB Networks’ twitter feed @ESBNetworks.

In the event of a power cut, customers are advised to take the following precautionary measures.

• never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks on 1850 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully

• if you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning

• turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost

• leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored

• take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames

• test smoke alarms with fresh batteries

• ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.

• customers should also ensure they have batteries for radios

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