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Update on response to Storm Ellen

Published on Thursday, 20 Aug 2020
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Storm Ellen tracked over Ireland on Wednesday night, bringing a period of severe and damaging winds across the country. Thankfully the Public acted to protect themselves and their communities which has ensured no loss of life or serious injuries.

However, flooding was reported in Skibbereen and Bandon and 194,000 ESB Networks customers lost power overnight. ESB Networks has mobilised a full storm response, and its staff were working to restore power from early this morning. Crews have now restored power to 90,000 homes, farms and businesses.

ESB Networks expects tens of thousands more to be restored by tonight, but some homes in areas of the South, West and Midlands will remain without power tonight. They are advising people to Stay safe and stay clear of fallen electricity lines and to Report any damage to electricity infrastructure by calling 1800 372 999. Estimated power restoration times are continually updated and available on the PowerCheck App and www.powercheck.ie.

Trees are in full leaf and this contributed to a significant numbers of trees falling – blocking roads and damaging power lines. Local authorities have been working since first light to clear blocked roads across the country.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien said, “I understand there are a lot of homes and businesses without power today. Many trees have fallen, road conditions are treacherous in places, and some towns are dealing with the aftermath of flooding. Our local authority response teams are working around the clock, as are ESB crews and we thank them most sincerely for their work. I would urge people to remain vigilant, slow down on roads, do not approach fallen trees or electricity wires, and be aware that there is still a yellow weather warning in place.”

Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke said, “I would like to thank all Local Authorities for the speed with which they mobilised, activating their Weather Assessment Teams, notifying their communities of the dangerous weather conditions and deploying flood defences where necessary. Their efforts, along with An Garda Síochána, HSE and other emergency services ensured a targeted and co-ordinated response was in place for Storm Ellen and potential dangers minimised.”

Weather forecast

Weather conditions remain unsettled and people should be aware of potential for further rainfall and coastal flooding today and tomorrow.

Storm Ellen coincided with a period of very high astronomical Spring Tides approaching Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) in all coastal areas, commencing yesterday (19 August) and continuing until Sunday 23 August 2020. Although Storm Ellen has passed, there is still the possibility of coastal flooding this evening and tomorrow along southern and western coasts.