The worst affected areas include: Newry, Annalong, Newcastle, Dromore, Hillsborough, Downpatrick, Ardglass, Lisburn, Dunmurry and Newtownards.
NIE Networks emergency crews have been replacing broken poles, clearing trees and branches and replacing and reconnecting overhead powerlines as part of a Northern Ireland wide effort to restore power. NIE Networks emergency crews, engineers and resources have been mobilised from Counties Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry/Londonderry to aid the repairs in the south and east of Northern Ireland.
Julia Carson, NIE Networks Communications Manager says although the damage to the network has been significant, the repair process is progressing well. “The damage caused by Storm Ophelia has been extensive with lines brought down by falling trees and poles broken by the high winds. Some areas experienced gusts of up to 70mph. We have been working in difficult conditions since yesterday afternoon to restore power to over 48,000 customers and we’ll continue to respond to reports of damage and reconnect supplies as quickly and safely as possible. Our main incident centre in Craigavon and Local Incident Centres across Northern Ireland are open and will co-ordinate the local repair process until all customers are back on supply.
“We may have to take customers off supply during the day to facilitate repairs but we will endeavour to restore the majority of customers today.
“If you are without power and you have not yet reported the disruption to NIE Networks, please report the fault online or call our Customer Helpline on 03457 643 643. Put safety first and if you do see any trees down across powerlines or broken electricity poles, keep away and call NIE Networks immediately.
“Keep an eye on Twitter @NIElectricity and facebook nienetworks for further updates.”
NIE Networks is reminding customers to stay safe and to take 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.