ESB NETWORKS PRESS RELEASE
Storm Ophelia Outage update: 311,000 customers restored, and almost 4,000 personnel working hard to restore remaining 74,000 homes and businesses without power
• Real-time updates on restoration times available on PowerCheck.ie, PowerCheck App and esbnetworks.ie
• Impacted homes, farms and businesses can also call 1850 372 999 (and with MPRN number to hand, by pressing option one) for individual restoration times
• All hospitals now restored and 100 out of 140 key water infrastructure sites now reconnected
Issued: 12:20 pm Thursday 19 October 2017
@PICTURE DESKS: Link to ESB Flickr account with photos of crews at work, Western Power Distribution crews arriving in Rosslare from Wales, and photos from our temporary call centre in Leixlip, below (No Repro Fee)
About 2,500 ESB Networks staff, 1,000 contractors and 300 crew from Northern Ireland and overseas utilities have restored power to 311,000 homes and businesses. Army and air corps personnel are also assisting in the efforts in the south of the country.
Despite poor weather conditions in the south of the country, crews are continuing to work on restoration to the remaining 74,000 homes, farms and businesses.
With 82 per cent of connections restored, progress is continuing in the worst impacted areas of Enniscorthy, Waterford, New Ross, Bandon, Dunmanway and Fermoy. As the work continues, ESB Networks are continuing to update estimated restoration times for homes and businesses remaining without power. ESB Networks acknowledges that this is a difficult time for our customers without supply and we are working as quickly as possible to restore supply to everyone.
ESB Networks has been prioritising supply to emergency services, hospitals, water and waste water plants, as well as telecoms infrastructure. We can confirm that electricity supply to all hospitals was restored yesterday evening and that 100 out of 140 key water and waste water plants have now had their power restored. ESB Networks are continuing to cooperate closely with Irish Water and local authorities on restoring the remainder of plants.
ESB Networks also wishes to acknowledge the work of farming organisations in coordinating the sharing of generators among farmers badly hit by loss of supply in the south of the country.
Crews from Western Power Distribution in Wales arrived in Rosslare yesterday evening, and having been inducted in Waterford last night, are now on the ground assisting ESB Networks crews in the worst impacted areas of Waterford and Wexford. (photos of the Welsh crews arriving in Rosslare accessible via this link: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5WVJGT).
Individual estimated restorations times are available to customers by calling 1850 372 999, hitting option one when prompted. They will then be advised when we expect to restore power to their home or business. The same service is also available on: https://esbnetworks.ie/apps/faultlogging/CheckStatus#. For both services, callers will need their 11-digit MPRN to hand – which is on the top left hand corner of every electricity bill.
Having assessed the extent of damage to the network in the given area, these times are the best available estimation by our engineers and network technicians of when electricity supply will be restored. It is an estimated timeframe and is subject to on-going review and change, but times are becoming more accurate as progress on restoration continues.
How power is 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.
To download photos (no reproduction fee): https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5WVJGT
For updates and important safety messages see: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/power-outages-updates/latest-updates
A further update will issue at around 5 pm this evening Thursday 19 October 2017.