Some homes may not get power restored for days

ESB crew Michael Stack and Denny Walsh from Tralee working in North Kerry.Pic: Domnick Walsh

KERRY

Around 19,000 homes in Kerry were still without electricity at tea-time yesterday, but ESB crews worked until 11pm and many customers should have power restored today.

However, the ESB said it could take a number of days before all homes have power back. Crews from the North have been drafted in to supplement the work of local ESB personnel.

Also, 7,500 Eircom customers in Kerry were still without a telephone service last night.

Kerry County Council was also counting the cost of the damage as crews worked to reopen all blocked roads to traffic.

The council has already made a submission to the Government for €20m to repair damage caused by previous storms, mainly in coastal areas, but is now expected to apply for more funding.

“There’s no way we could meet the cost of repairing this additional damage out of our own resources and we must go back to the Government for extra funding,’’ said council spokesman Padraig Corkery.

Some householders in the county were on boil water notices yesterday as water treatment plants had been affected by power outages.

Irish Water and the council are providing water tankers in a number of locations to allow the public to access water.

The storm, meanwhile, helped highlight the case for a new primary school at Listellick, outside Tralee, a campaign that has been ongoing for the 17 years.

The school is made up of three separate buildings, including two prefabs, and the roof was blown off of one of the prefabs.

Principal Annette Dineen, who claimed the Department of Education “didn’t care” about Listellick, yesterday invited Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and officials from his department’s building unit to visit the school.

She said some of the children in the damaged prefab were very frightened when the roof was lifting during the storm and they had to be brought into the main building through the open school yard.

“We were so, so lucky. Thank God everyone is safe and nobody was injured.’’

Dozens of primary and second-level schools remained closed throughout Co Kerry yesterday.

People are being urged to stay away from Killarney National Park for a few days to allow staff remove fallen trees from walks and pathways.

Hundreds of trees, some hundreds of years old including sycamore, beach, Scotch pine and oak, were levelled in Wednesday’s storm.

The tidying up operation is initially being concentrated on the most visitor-frequented areas around Muckross, Knockreer House, and the Demense.

The Aquadome indoor water leisure centre, in Tralee, has been closed until further notice due to storm damage.

Around 20 residents of Killarney Nursing Home have been transferred to the nearby St Columbanus Home as a result of damage to the facility in Wednesday’s storm.

Some rooms in the home were damaged by a roof blown from a nearby apartment building.

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