NIE Networks has restored power to over 49,000 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland, following damage to the electricity network caused by Storm Ophelia.
Over 400 incidences of weather related damage to the network are currently disrupting electricity supplies to around 3600 homes and businesses, mainly in Counties Down, Armagh and Antrim.
The worst affected areas include: Newry, Annalong, Newcastle, Dromore, Hillsborough, Downpatrick, Ardglass, Lisburn, Dunmurry and the Ards Peninsula. 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.
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.
Julia Carson, NIE Networks Communications Manager says although the damage to the network has been significant, the repair process is progressing well. “Our emergency crews and engineers have been out since first light and they are continuing to repair damage caused by Storm Ophelia. The damage 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 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 please report the fault online at nienetworks.co.uk 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.”