STORM OPHELIA: NIE teams to work into night to restore customers power

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NIE Networks emergency crews and engineers will continue working into the evening to restore power to around 2000 customer still without power following Storm Ophelia.

Over 50,000 customers have had electricity restored following a Northern Ireland wide effort to repair the damage to the electricity network.

Severe gales, with gusts of up to 70mph, swept across Northern Ireland during the night, bring trees and branches across lines and breaking poles.

The worst affected areas remain the South East, mainly around the Newry and Downpatrick areas.

NIE Networks emergency crews are replacing broken poles, clearing trees and branches and replacing and reconnecting overhead powerlines as part of the widespread effort to restore power. Our crews will continue to work into the evening but due to the extent of the damage, small pockets of customers in the worst affected areas may be without power overnight.

Julia Carson, NIE Networks Communications Manager reminded customers to contact NIE Networks if their power is disrupted.

“We would like to remind customers that if they do lose electricity supplies they should report the fault online at nienetworks.co.ukor call our Customer Helpline on 03457 643 643. Put safety first and if you do see any trees down across powerlines or broken electricity poles, keep away and call NIE Networks immediately.

“Our Local Incident Centres in the worst affected areas are co-ordinating the local repair effort and we have brought in additional call agents to answer customer queries. Keep an eye on Twitter @NIElectricity and facebook nienetworks for further updates and advice.”

NIE Networks is reminding customers to stay safe and to take precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut, especially during the hours of darkness:

1. never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away - report damage to NIE Networks on 03457 643 643 and listen to recorded messages carefully

2. if you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning

3. turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost

4. leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored

5. take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames

6. test smoke alarms with fresh batteries

7. ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.