Severe winds with gusts of up to 70mph continue to cause damage to the electricity network with trees, branches and other flying debris bringing down power lines and poles. NIE Networks expects the number of customers affected by power cuts to rise as wind speeds are set to continue until midnight, especially in County Down.
Our Incident Management Centre at Craigavon is open, as are NIE Networks’ Local Incident Centres in Enniskillen, Newry, Downpatrick and Bangor are open, co-ordinating the local restoration efforts.
Customers who are able to report the location of damage to the electricity network should call on 03457 643 643. If customers reporting network damage are not answered by a call handler due to call volumes there will be a facility to leave a message.
Updated information will be provided regularly and NIE Networks has asked that customers listen to their radios or visit our website (nienetworks.co.uk) for updates.
Julia Carson, NIE Networks Communications Manager, said: "We advise customers to keep mobile phones charged and have batteries available for torches in case they experience power cuts. NIE Networks will be working into the night to do all that we can to restore electricity supplies to our customers as quickly and safely as we can.
“Safety is paramount and there are some areas where the high wind speeds may impact on our ability to assess the damage and carry out repairs.”
NIE 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 NIE Networks on 03457 643 643 and listen to recorded messages carefully
- if you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning
- 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.