A man and his dog walk past a fallen tree in the Killarney Demesne after Hurricane Ophelia on Monday.
Photo Don MacMonagle
"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.