Thursday 23 October 2014

Tens of thousands of homes to spend second night in darkness

Storm-damaged towns remain without power as three-pronged attack of snow, wind and rain set to lash the country tomorrow

Published 13/02/2014 | 17:00

A man battles against the elements
Storm damage in Kilbeacanty, Co. Galway. Sent in by Miguel Castro
12/2/2014
Jack Smith from Galway Challenging the Weather at Black rock, Salthill.
Picture: Hany Marzouk
12/2/2014 Jack Smith from Galway Challenging the Weather at Black rock, Salthill. Picture: Hany Marzouk

Up to 80,000 people will remain without power overnight following Thursday's freak weather conditions, the ESB has confirmed.

ESB staff have managed to restore power to 145,000 customers across the country since yesterday.

They have released a list of areas nationwide that will not have power tonight.

The service provider has apologised for outages.

Areas in Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford and Laois are worst affected by the power outages with many areas remaining in darkness for the night.

Up to 9,000 homes in Killarney, Co Kerry and 8,000 homes in Dunmanway, Co Cork will remain without power in tonight.

Areas that will not have power restored tonight include:

- Dunmanway

- Fermoy

- Killarney

- Waterford

- Kilkenny

- Cork

- Clonmel

- Portlaoise

- Tralee

- Thurles

- Enniscorthy

- Limerick

For a full list of the townlands affected, see updatesfromesb.com.

Denis Cambridge, ESB Divisional Manager for the South, said “This is one of the biggest clean up operations I have ever experienced, and we have pulled resources from every part of the company and beyond to get the lights back on as quickly as we can. It is a mammoth task. In Cork and Kerry alone we have over 3,200 individual faults to get to, and we are working against the clock before the next of the bad weather sets in tomorrow.”

The transmission network has been restored, the full scale of the damage at medium and low voltage levels is becoming apparent. The number of individual faults identified on the system has risen to almost 8,000.

The ESB also said that in terms of materials, approximately 1,000 wooden poles are needed along with over 250km of conductors and 400 transformers. Nationally, there are approximately 2,000 locations where timber has to be cleared from lines.

After a brief respite today from the stormy conditions which have battered the country, communities around the country have been warned to batten down the hatches for a sustained attack tomorrow.

Met Eireann have already issued a Status Yellow warning for Munster and Leinster for tomorrow morning when gusts are expected to lash the country once more with beleagured coastal areas to bear the brunt of the weather.

Gusts of up to 100km/h are expected.

There is also a severe rainfall warning in effect for all 26 counties with up to 45mm of rain expected to fall in 24 hours.

This should place further pressure on flood defences around the country.

The northern half of the country has also been issued with a snow/ice warning. Up to 3cm of snow is expected to accumulate in Connacht counties as well as Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Kildare, Longford, Westmeath and Meath.

Temperatures are expected to rise slightly as the day goes on and the snow ans sleet should turn to rain which should melt any snow lying on ground.

The extremely blustery conditions are expected to last into Saturday but should finally begin to abate as the day goes on.

We should be over the worst by Saturday evening and by Sunday things should be about to return to normal with calm but cold days expected for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, this evening Clare County Council  issued a flood and storm warning for the entire county in advance of severe weather conditions that are expected during the next 48 hours.

The local authority said that given the high tides, projected high rainfall and strong gale to storm force winds there is significant risk of river, coastal and tidal flooding.

The Council has also warned of potential travel disruption on the county’s roads as a result of trees falling that have already been already compromised by yesterday’s storm.

Read more about the stormy season: Stormy season: how the weather has battered us for six weeks

Read more: 'It's a miracle the flying roof debris didn't kill anyone'

Read more: ESB chief calls task of restoring power 'truly epic'

Read more: Trail of destruction sweeps country

Read more: Hero helped family in distress ... then thieves stole his tools

In photos: In photos: Devastation as Storm Darwin batters country

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