ESB Networks has been working around the clock to restore power to some 306,000 homes and businesses since Monday. However, 78,000 customers remain without power and will have to wait three or four days to be reconnected. Those in isolated areas will not have power restored until Monday.
The 2,500 ESB Networks staff and 1,000 contractors have been joined in the operation by 283 staff from electricity utilities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, the Isle of Man and France.
Some 24,000 people remain without water but this has fallen from a peak of 109,000. Irish Water said that 2,000 people are on water supplies that are at risk of running out of water, down from a peak of 260,000. Cork, Waterford and Wexford are worst affected by the outages with half of those without water in Cork.
Irish Water said that while progress has been “significant and is continuing”, some of the smaller schemes with fewer than 1,000 people will take longer to get back on track.
Of the 148 wastewater schemes affected nationwide, 104 are back up and running.
At present, 26 generators are being used to power water treatment plants across the southern region, serving a population of 90,000.
In the past 24 hours, supply has been restored in a large number of areas in Cork, including Cobh, Leap, Cloyne, Kealkill and Doneraile.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the vast majority of insurance policies are valid for damage from Storm Ophelia.
He said Government would engage with the insurance industry in the coming days but urged consumers to read the fine print on policies as well.
“We do think this will be a little bit different to flooding. I know that when it comes to severe weather that causes flooding, that quite a number of people find themselves uninsured because they are on floodplains or have been flooded before.
“We expect this will be different. Nobody is in a hurricane path. It’s different to a floodplain. We think that in the vast majority of cases people will be insured and will be covered but the best thing to do is to read your own policy and contact your insurer as soon as you can,” he said.
Meanewhile, Siptu has written to management in the HSE to clarify why home care workers were expected to remain working on Monday after HSE offices were shut at 12pm due to the unprecedented weather conditions.