130k homes and businesses remain without power after Storm Ellen

130k homes and businesses remain without power after Storm Ellen
Motorists contend with downed trees on the N72 just outside of Fermoy, Co Cork. Picture: Damien Storan/PA Wire

The number of premises without power following Storm Ellen reduced from 194,000 at 6am today to 130,000 at 10am.

Large power outages were recorded in Cork, Limerick, Clare and Galway.

A status red wind warning for Cork was in place until 11.59pm last night and gusts of 143km/hr were recorded at Roches Point at 11pm. 

New status yellow warnings have been issued today for wind and rain. The wind warning affects Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Cork, Kerry and Waterford for 12 hours from 5pm while the rainfall warning is in place now for the whole country until 5am tomorrow.

The Port of Cork saw many ships docked up to wait out the storm. Picture: Damian Coleman
The Port of Cork saw many ships docked up to wait out the storm. Picture: Damian Coleman

Derek Hynes of ESB Networks said the number of locations without power today had risen from 500 at 7am to 900 at 8am, but the number of premises without power has been reduced as power was restored to larger areas.

Cork, Tipperary and Limerick were the areas worst affected this morning with 32,000 without power in Cork, the same number in Tipperary and 10,000 in Limerick.

In Westmeath, the Athlone area is the worst affected with 18,000 premises without power.

Mr Hynes said the numbers are fluid and he expected them to rise as people start their day, discover they have no power and report it.

"We know all the big faults, we need to be alerted about all locations that our crews need to visit to ensure that there are no public safety issues.

We are asking everyone to stay safe. We are worried about families going for a walk, about children playing.

Met Éireann said heavy squally downpours and thunderstorms will bring a risk of spot flooding.

The ESB said gale force winds overnight have caused significant damage to the electricity network and it will deploy crews where it is safe to do so, in line with national Covid-19 protocols.

Some outages, such as in Cloyne, may not be resolved until 6pm today.

A tree blocking the R629 Cloyne to Ballinacurra road. Photo: Cork Safety Alerts Twitter.
A tree blocking the R629 Cloyne to Ballinacurra road. Photo: Cork Safety Alerts Twitter.

The outages traced the path of the storm through the country. ESB Networks had prepared for the south coast to be the most affected so from this morning crews are being redeployed.

“Our crews and assessing and redeploying and trying to make the best of resources,” Mr Hynes said.

Mr Hynes said that 50 crews had been out overnight responding to calls when and where it was safe to do so. 

Several trees fell in Cork, and local authorities are prepared for structural damage and flooding this morning.

People are hit by waves on the Front Strand in Youghal, Co. Cork. Picture: PA
People are hit by waves on the Front Strand in Youghal, Co. Cork. Picture: PA

Bus Éireann said there are delays and diversions on all Cork city and suburban services this morning while Irish Rail is reporting delays to train services nationwide due to power faults and fallen trees on lines.

Jim Molloy, Acting Director of Services and Roads with Cork County Council, told Morning Ireland that the local authority had responded to 50 call outs overnight for fallen trees in east Cork and 30 in relation to flooding, mostly in Skibbereen.

It had been “very tempestuous” last night, he said with the storm causing “a lot of chaos.” Major routes have been cleared, but he advised motorists to exercise extreme caution and to be alert for fallen trees and spot flooding.

“Caution is the word of the day,” Mr Molloy said, adding the objective for the council today was to clean up debris, especially in Skibbereen as further heavy rainfall is predicted.

Cathal Nolan, from Ireland's Weather Channel, says it's the worst weather since Storm Ophelia, which claimed three lives in 2017.

"Certainly the storm ranks pretty evenly with Storm Ophelia," he said. 

"Some parts of the country have seen gusts of winds over the course of the past number of hours that have even exceeded the levels that were recorded during Hurricane Ophelia. 

"The power supplies that have been lost within that, they are of a similar nature to that experienced during Storm Ophelia."

Motorists can report issues such as fallen trees and road damage to their local council office during working hours or to call the emergency number (021) 4800048.

In the event of power outages, people should contact ESB Networks at 1850 372999, and in the event of a disruption to water supply, you should contact Irish Water at 1850 278278.

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