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Supply crisis eases in North despite attacks by vandals

The number of houses without water in the North is down to 799.

The main areas affected are parts of Cookstown and Dungannon in Co Tyrone and Newry and Warrenpoint in Co Down.

While 500 Northern Ireland Water (NIW) staff battled round the clock to restore supplies to the region's crippled system, vandals were yesterday blamed for emptying almost 5,000 gallons of water from temporary tanks in one of the badly hit areas in Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

People arriving at bowsers at the Gortgonis Park centre to collect drinking water yesterday morning found that the valves had been opened overnight.

NIW replaced the tanks in the afternoon.

Arctic weather conditions, followed by a sudden thaw, caused large numbers of pipes to burst in buildings and in the mains supply, draining unprecedented amounts of water from the system.

Louth County Council has agreed to supply water from its treatment plant in Dundalk to its neighbouring local authority across the Border in Newry-Mourne.

Scotland is continuing to supply the North with bottled water to help it cope with the crisis.

Irish Independent