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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Helicopters used to dispatch crews as 900 homes in North still without power

Customers in rural and exposed areas are still without power following the heavy snowfall in the North last week.

A tractor attempts to clear drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim over the weekend.
A tractor attempts to clear drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim over the weekend.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire

REPAIR TEAMS are being dispatched by helicopter to remote areas in Northern Ireland to complete the restoration of electricity supplies to customers affected by the harsh weather.

Some 900 homes in isolated areas are still without power after supplies were cut off in blizzards last Thursday and Friday, with Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) saying accessibility had been the key difficulty in repairing the damage.

Around 140,000 customers in total were affected by the severe weather, with ESB crews joining colleagues from Scotland in travelling north to assist in the repair works.

NIE is now commissioning a second helicopter to help ferry crews between the disrupted areas and expedite the return of power services.

A spokeswoman said there were still about 100 individual faults to be repaired.

“These are in areas where access has been very difficult, with snow drifts and abandoned cars hampering the restoration process,” she said.

Northern Ireland was particularly badly hit by heavy snowfall, as the northern and eastern parts of the island were worst affected, with the rest of the island instead succumbing to heavy rain.

Read: Electricity customer accidentally billed for second property for seven years

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Gavan Reilly

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