Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Homes face night with no power

Storms have caused extensive damage to the electricity networks across Ireland
Storms have caused extensive damage to the electricity networks across Ireland

About 800 homes and businesses can expect to face another night without power following the Christmas storms.

ESB Network crews restored electricity supplies to more than 10,000 customers today as more than 500 faults on power lines were repaired.

The company said the remaining broken supplies and damaged lines were as a result of additional damage which occurred last night and the worst affected areas will be 200 customers in Ennis, Co Clare and also across Bandon, Dunmanway and Killarney in Cork and Kerry and another 100 in the Newcastlewest area of Limerick.

ESB Networks apologised to customers left without supplies for another night.

"ESB Networks will endeavour to make contact with all of the customers expected to be without power tonight through a phone call to vulnerable customers and text message to remaining customers," the company said.

It said its emergency repair crews had returned supplies to about 75,000 customers since storms swept in from December 26.

"Though every effort has been made to get power back as quickly as possible, the extent of the damage caused by the worst storm in years meant that the full restoration took this time. Since the storm started on St Stephen's Day, all available crews were working from early morning to late into the night in order to minimise the duration of outages on customers," the company said.

Crews were redeployed to regions in the south and south west over the last 24-36 hours and timber and pole contractors were also called in to help with the removal of trees and branches and debris.

Other works involved replacing medium voltage transformers and b roken poles and r e-stringing broken wires as well as repairing d amage caused by lightning.

ESB Networks also said that its networks and supply lines were hit by 10 times as many faults and outages during December 26-27 as would normally happen in a storm.

Meanwhile, faults on phone lines operated by Eircom remain high.

About 9,000 faults remain on the telecoms lines across the country with 350 crews working to restore services with the worst hit areas in Cork, Galway, Mayo, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow and Wexford.

The company said more than 18,000 faults have been repaired over the past two weeks as a result of the recent severe weather before and during the Christmas period.

"We would like to reassure all customers who are currently experiencing a disruption to their telephone and broadband service that we are working as hard as possible to restore service. All available technicians have been diverted onto fault repairs and our crews will continue to carry out repair work throughout the weekend," the company said.

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