17 October 2017, 12.05pm
By Tom Collins
Approximately 216,000 electricity customers remain without power today due to the impact of ex-hurricane Ophelia on the electricity network. Fallen trees on overhead lines are responsible for most of the damage to the network. At the height of the storm, 385,000 customers were without power but 170,000 have now had their power restored.
Today, ESB Networks crews are prioritising repairs to higher voltage lines. Restoring power to essential services such as water pumping and sewage facilities, medical facilities and customers with medical needs are a priority.
All available resources from ESB Networks are being deployed to carry out repairs to the network and restore power. Our crews will be assisted by contractors and by crews from electricity utilities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, many of whom will travel on ferries this evening.
In many cases, crews are having difficulty gaining access to power lines as they are hampered by fallen trees and debris. Timber contractors are working to help us clear access routes. We are also using helicopters to patrol the high voltage lines to establish where the damage has occurred. Today six helicopters, including a number from the Air Corps, will be in the air patrolling lines in the South, Midlands, West and North of the country.
ESB Networks acknowledges that this is a distressing time for customers without power and we are working at full capacity to restore power as quickly as possible to everyone. In particular, customers without power with a medical condition and/or are reliant on an electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional so that they can receive advice on care until we have their power restored.
An Important Public Safety Message: If you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they are LIVE and extremely dangerous. Please report any damage to electricity infrastructure by calling 1850 372 999.
We are continuing to prioritise emergency calls on our 1850 number, but customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.esbpowercheck.ie or on the PowerCheck App for iPhone and Android devices. We are carrying out an assessment of all faults today and expect to have an estimated restoration time for all customers by later this evening.
If your fault is not logged on Powercheck you can report it on the website https://www.esbnetworks.ie/power-outages-updates/report-a-power-outage. Customers should have their MPRN available to access recorded information specific to their location. You can also check @ESBNetworks on Twitter for updates.
ESB Networks is reminding customers of the precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut:
• Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks at 1850 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully
• 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.
Real time information on power outages and restoration times is available at: www.esbpowercheck.ie