Thursday 18 January 2018

Electricity outage: 'Majority' of 360,000 without electricity face up to two days without power

Fallen tree near the Back of Dublin Airport at Knocksedan
Fallen tree near the Back of Dublin Airport at Knocksedan

Amy Molloy and Adrian Weckler

The majority of people across the country are facing "up to two days" without electricity - with some people expected to have no power for up to 10 days.

Bernadette Maloney, head of corporate affairs for the ESB, told the Ray D'Arcy show that Ireland is experiencing "unprecedented" outages.

Over 360,000 homes and businesses are currently without power, and the number is only increasing, as Hurricane Ophilia sweeps across the country.

Ms Maloney said earlier that between "5-10pc" of ESB customers may have to go as long as 10 days without electricity.

She said they are hoping crews from other countries will assist Ireland as the country tries to recover from the most powerful storm to hit the country in half a century.

"We've gone to help France in the past and the UK, so those favours will be reciprocated as well," she said.

A man and his dog walk past a fallen tree in the Killarney Demesne after Hurricane Ophelia on Monday.
Photo Don MacMonagle
A man and his dog walk past a fallen tree in the Killarney Demesne after Hurricane Ophelia on Monday. Photo Don MacMonagle
People take selfies in waves and high wind at Lahinch in County Clare on the West Coast of Ireland as Hurricane Ophelia hits the UK and Ireland with gusts of up to 80mph Niall Carson/PA Wire
A man shelters from the waves and high wind at Lahinch in County Clare on the West Coast of Ireland as Hurricane Ophelia hits the UK and Ireland with gusts of up to 80mph.: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Hurricane winds collapsed a stand at Turners Cross, Cork city during Storm Ophelia. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Provision 161017 Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen tree Knocknaheeny, Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
As Hurricane Ophelia continues in Galway people taking video of themselves out in the Height of the storm at the Spanish arch and Claddgh area of Galway . Photo:Andrew Downes
Fallen trees in Farranree during Storm Ophelia Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Damage to a fenced wall in Farranree during Storm Ophelia Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
16/10/2017 Poolbeg Lighthouse on the great South Wall during Hurricane Ophelia, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
As Hurricane Ophelia continues in Galway people taking video of themselves out in the Height of the storm at the Spanish arch and Claddgh area of Galway . Photo:Andrew Downes
Fallen tree near the Back of Dublin Airport at Knocksedan Photo: Kyran O'Brien
As Hurricane Ophelia continues in Galway people taking video of themselves out in the height of the storm at the Spanish Arch and Claddagh area of Galway. Photo:Andrew Downes
Fallen trees in Farranree during Storm Ophelia Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Advertising hoarding is ripped off during Storm Ophelia near Kent Station Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
16-10-17 Storm scenes at Tramore Co. Waterford. Picture Dylan Vaughan
Hurricane Ophelia hitting Fenit in County Kerry. Photo: Mark Condren

"When Storm Darwin hit a number of years ago the number of customers affected was around 250,000 in total, so this is far in excess of the people who were affected during Storm Darwin.

"The number is increasing all the time as the storm progresses across the country

"Crews are beginning to go out and assess the damage and when the storm has passed, people may get out and about but there may be power lines down. Do not approach them. They are live and dangerous."

Sources have told Independent.ie there will "easily" be 500,000 homes and businesses without electricity by tonight.

Meanwhile, Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs with AA Roadwatch said "north of 70 or 80 roads" across the country are now closed.

"There isn't a county exempt from this. We have reports of fallen trees from every county," he told the Ray D'Arcy Show.

Storm Ophelia has caused “unprecedented” damage to Ireland’s main telephone and broadband networks, the country’s biggest telecoms firm has said.

Meanwhile, Eir says that the initial tally of 11,000 broadband, phone and mobile customers affected by the storm outages will “rise significantly” and that repairs will not happen immediately.

“Storm Ophelia has delivered unprecedented and widespread levels of damage to Eir’s infrastructure throughout the country,” said an Eir spokesman. “This includes damage to poles, cables and mast infrastructure. We anticipate that the network damage will extend as the storm tracks across the country.”

“Given the overhead nature of our network in rural Ireland, the damage will likely be extensive and repair work will take time. There are currently 90 mobile sites off air, with the worst affected areas so far in the Southwest, West and Midlands. As a result, eir estimates that there are currently over 11,000 customers without broadband, telephone and mobile services. We expect this number to rise significantly, particularly as access to our exchanges and mobile sites is restricted due to road closures.”

The company has advised affected customers to log faults on the ‘log a fault’ section of its website www.eir.ie or through its automated customer service line 1901.

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