Storm Barney: Electricity to be restored to Irish homes and businesses after near-hurricane force winds
Energy chiefs said they expect to have power restored tonight to all homes and businesses affected by Storm Barney.
About 5,000 homes and businesses remained cut-off from power supplies more than 24 hours after the near-hurricane force winds swept in from the Atlantic.
While the worst damage from the storm was evident in Co Wicklow, ESB Networks crews restored electricity to about 40,000 customers mostly in the southern half of the country.
ESB Networks said crews from across the country have made good progress in repairing lines and restoring power.
But it warned a small number of customers, in isolated pockets in the southern half of the country, may be without supply tonight.
"ESB Networks crews are continuing to work to repair and rebuild the electricity infrastructure. Timber contractors have also been deployed to assist with the clearing of fallen trees and timber," a spokesman said.
The worst-hit areas were Co Clare, Wicklow, parts of Cork, Tipperary and Letterkenny.
In Wicklow town, the roof of the Coral Leisure centre was ripped off, forcing management to shut down until further notice.
"Unfortunately the centre has suffered extensive damage due to the storm. We strongly advise all customers to avoid the centre and surrounding area at present for safety reasons," the company said.
The roof of the GAA club in Rathnew was also destroyed.
Dublin Fire Brigade reported 128 trees were brought down by the storm and its crews also attended 13 calls to reports of broken electric cables.
"ESB Networks expects to have power restored to the majority of customers by teatime this evening. However, there are high winds forecast for today also, and this could hamper the restoration process and cause additional faults," the spokesman added.
Most of the damage was caused by trees and timber falling on to the network.
The highest winds recorded on Tuesday were at Shannon Airport with operations disrupted by gales gusts of 128km/h, while offshore the most severe was on the Fastnet Lighthouse with gusts up to 146km/h.
ESB Networks warned members of the public not to touch or approach any fallen wires and to report any damage to electricity infrastructure by calling 1850 372 999.
Updates on faults and estimated reconnection times are being posted online at esbpowercheck.ie and on the @ESBNetworks Twitter feed while customers can also call 1850 372 999 or await announcements on local radio.