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Storm Ellen: 50,000 homes and businesses to remain without electricity tonight

ESB expects that “significant numbers” of customers will remain without power overnight.

Motorists contend with downed trees on the N72 outside of Fermoy in Cork following Storm Ellen.
Motorists contend with downed trees on the N72 outside of Fermoy in Cork following Storm Ellen.
Image: PA/Damien Storan

Updated Aug 20th 2020, 9:41 PM

SOME HOMES WILL remain without power tonight as crews continue work to reconnect 50,000 customers in the aftermath of Storm Ellen.

ESB Networks said crews will continue working tonight and will mobilise again at first light to restore the remainder through the course of tomorrow.

This morning, over 194,000 homes, farms and businesses were without power across the country due to the effects of Storm Ellen, which hit yesterday evening with gusts of over 100 kilometres per hour recorded in parts of the country.

ESB Networks crews have so far restored power to around 140,000 customers. 

Counties that have been most impacted by power loss include Cork, Tipperary, Sligo, Westmeath, Longford, Roscommon and Leitrim.

“We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow with some customers potentially without power beyond that,” ESB Networks said. 

“It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary,” it said. 

A Status Yellow rainfall warning is currently in place for Ireland until 5am tomorrow. 

Met Éireann has warned that “heavy squally downpours and thunderstorms will bring risk of spot flooding at times”. 

A Status Yellow wind warning is in place until midnight for Carlow and Kilkenny, while another Status Yellow wind warning is in place until 5am for Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

summer-weather-aug-19th-2020 A person is hit by a wave crashing on the Front Strand in Youghal, Co. Cork. Source: PA

A particularly high tide is expected in Dublin in the early hours of Friday morning, reaching heights of 4.55 metres.

Dublin City Council will close all flood gates on the River Dodder in advance of the high tide, which is expected to peak at 1.35am.

The Liffey Boardwalk at Eden Quay will be closed, and a manned pump will be put in place in the Stella Gardens / Fitzwilliam Quay area.

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There have been reports across the country since last night of fallen trees as a result of the storm. 

ESB Networks is warning people who come across fallen trees, wires or damaged electricity networks to “never, ever touch or approach these as they may be live and extremely dangerous”. 

ESB Networks is reminding customers of the precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut: 

  • Stay safe, stay clear: Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks at 1800 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully 
  • 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

Last night, the country had been bracing for a major impact from the storm – with visitors to Cork staying in tents or caravans urged to find alternative accommodation. 

Updates on most faults, along with their expected restoration times can be found here.

Additional reporting by Lauren Boland and Dominic McGrath

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