Storm Ophelia Outage Update - 8.20 pm Tuesday 17 October 2017

Storm Ophelia Outage update:
• ESB Networks crews have restored power to a further 22,000 customers this evening
• It is expected that the majority of remaining 137,000 customers will have their power restored in 3 to 4 days
• While progress is being made, serious damage remains to the network in the south and southwest
• Estimated restoration times will be available on the Powercheck app and powercheck.ie from tomorrow morning

Issued:  8:20 pm, Tuesday 17 October 2017

ESB Networks crews continued to work hard throughout the evening to restore power to almost 65 per cent of electricity customers who lost supply during ex-hurricane Ophelia yesterday. At the height of the storm, 385,000 customers were without power but 248,000 have now had their power restored. Crews are continuing to work on restoring power to the remaining 137,000 customers.

We are hopeful that the majority of customers in the Northwest will be restored tonight. We are also making significant progress in counties Kerry, Laois, Galway, Clare and Westmeath. Cork and Kerry have had power restored to over 100,000 customers.

We will publish estimated restoration times for those customers who remain without power in the morning on our PowerCheck App and on www.esbpowercheck.ie. ESB Networks will text vulnerable customers without power this evening to provide updates on likely restoration times.

Over the course of today, ESB Networks crews have been prioritising repairs to higher voltage lines (see steps to restoring power below). Restoring power to essential services such as water pumping and sewage facilities, medical facilities, telecommunications 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. Crews from less impacted parts of the country are moving south to assist colleagues in the worst impacted areas. Our crews will be assisted by contractors and by crews from electricity utilities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Many are travelling on ferries this evening and we will be deploying these crews in the tomorrow.

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. The information on estimated restoration times tomorrow morning will help vulnerable customers decide if further action is required in the coming days.

How is Power restored following a Storm like Ophelia:
1.            The first priority is to make safe fallen, low hanging wires and other damage to electricity networks. This may mean that these lines have to be switched out until they can be repaired.
2.            Where possible, we restore supply remotely from our Distribution Control Centre using alternative power lines where available.
3.            Prior to initiating repairs, full assessment of network damage needs to be carried out by ESB Networks network technicians, so that power can be restored systematically and safely.
4.            Crews are initially dispatched to repair lines that will return service to critical loads and to the largest number of customers in the least amount of time. High voltage transmission and medium voltage distribution lines are priorities in this regard.
5.            Once major repairs are completed, service lines to individual homes and smaller groups of customers are restored. This can be a very slow process as there are normally large numbers of small faults. Each individual repair can be time consuming and only restores power to those customers served by that local network.

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 if their fault is logged on Powercheck and contact ESB Networks at 1850 372999 in not. 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.

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 with further information available at: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/power-outages-updates/latest-updates

View ESB Networks' video on preparing for an outage during a storm at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf8uhiZM900

Further updates on power restoration efforts will issue around noon tomorrow Wednesday 18 October.

-Ends-