Storm Ophelia Outage update - 5pm Tuesday 17th October

Storm Ophelia Outage update: ESB Networks restores power to over half of customers impacted

• ESB Networks crews have restored power to 216,000 customers
• It is expected that the majority of remaining 169,000 customers will have their power restored in 3 to 4 days
• While serious damage remains in the network in the south and southwest, the Northwest and Dublin will have power restored in full this evening

Issued: 5 pm, Tuesday 17 October 2017

ESB Networks crews have worked hard throughout the day to restore power to over 55 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 216,000 have now had their power restored. Crews are continuing to work on restoring power to the remaining 169,000 customers,

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

We will have estimated restoration times for those customers who remain without power in the morning. ESB Networks will contact vulnerable customers without power this evening to provide updates on likely restoration times.

Today, ESB Networks crews are 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. A number of counties less impacted by the storm will have supply restored in full this evening.

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 of whom will travel on ferries this evening.

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.

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. 

We are carrying out an assessment of all faults today and expect to have an estimated restoration time for all customers by early tomorrow morning.

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 8pm tonight Tuesday 17 October.

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