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Live: Storm Ellen cleanup – 194,000 homes and businesses without power

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At least 194,000 homes and businesses are without power this morning after Storm Ellen swept over Ireland last night and left a trail of destruction in its wake.

According to the ESB’s Power Check website, which monitors faults, there are scores of faults across the country with counties Cork, Tipperary, Westmeath, Longford and Limerick worst affected.

An estimated 40,000 homes and businesses are without power in Co Cork, 35,000 in Co Tipperary, 20,000 in Co Westmeath, some 15,000 in Co Longford and about 12,000 in Co Limerick.

A full list of the faults can be found on the Power Check website.

Outages

ESB Networks said it is advising customers impacted by outages that they should “prepare to be without electricity for number of days”.

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

ESB crews are being dispatched this morning in the most affected areas and where safe to do so, “assessing the damage so that they can restore power as quickly and effectively as possible”.

This shouldn’t be happening in Skibbereen.Millions spent on flood protection.The entire town should be dry even in this intense rainfall. Part of me is not surprised. The flood committee flagged that this area needed more protection.OPW need to provide answers. #StormEllen pic.twitter.com/pPr061LOz9

— Christopher O’Sullivan TD (@COSullivanTD) August 19, 2020

“In addition to safety procedures associated with power restoration, crews are also working under all national Covid-19 protocols with respect to hygiene, social distancing and PPE,” the spokesman added.

Wind warning

A nationwide status yellow wind warning remains in place until 8am.

In Co Cork, flooding has been reported in Skibbereen, Kinsale, Middleton and Bantry.

Met Éireann had issued a status red storm warning for Cork with winds predicted to hit over 150km/h between 9pm and midnight. The alert proved accurate with high winds bringing down trees and power lines all over Munster.

Cork was particularly badly hit as winds, measured at one stage as gusting at 143km/h at Roches Point at the mouth of Cork Harbour, brought down power lines all over the county.

Among the areas badly hit were Fermoy where more than 1,800 homes were affected, Macroom where almost 1,500 premises were affected, Cloyne in East Cork where almost 2,000 customers were affected and Riverstown near Glanmire where more than 1,000 customers were affected.

In Cork city, Douglas was particularly badly hit with almost 2,500 customers affected while over 400 customers in Bishopstown were left without power and 700 homes around Carrigaline in south Cork were also affected. There were smaller outages in Kilworth, Rathcormac and Whitechurch.

More than 250 customers near Youghal were left without power while in Tallow in Co Waterford more than 500 customers were affected. Near Dungarvan, 1,200 customers were hit, along with 300 customers near Waterford city as high winds wreaked havoc.

While Cork bore the brunt of the high winds, there are also power outages in Co Tipperary with 1,100 homes and businesses in Clonmel being left without electricity. The north of the county was also hit with more than 900 customers affected in Templemore and more than 800 in Toomevara.

More than 2,000 customers were affected around Ballyhale in Co Kilkenny and more than 1,600 near Tullamore in Co Offaly. In Athy, Co Kildare, 400 customers were affected, while there were smaller outages in Bagnalstown in Co Carlow, Clonroche in Co Wexford, Ballybunion in Co Kerry, and Athenry in Co Galway.

Flooding

Storm Ellen brought with it heavy rains and Skibbereen in West Cork in particular was badly affected with Bridge Street flooding to a depth of several inches before members of the Skibbereen unit of the Cork County Fire Service backed up by West Cork Civil Defence cleared the street.

Local Cork South West TDs, Holly Cairns of the Social Democrats and Christopher O’Sullivan of Fianna Fáil, both posted footage on their Twitter accounts of the flooding in Skibbereen, with flood waters racing down Bridge Street in the centre of town.

Mr O’Sullivan tweeted: “This shouldn’t be happening in Skibbereen. Millions spent on flood protection – the entire town should be dry even in this intense rainfall . . . The flood committee flagged that this area needed more protection. OPW need to provide answers.”

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