Power cuts and trees as Storm Hector batters Laois and rest of the country

Express Reporter

Reporter:

Express Reporter

Power cuts as Storm hector batters Laois despite no weather warning

Laois was not covered by a Status Yellow warning

Laois was one of many counties battered by Storm Hector overnight with power cuts the main impact. 

Laois Fire Service was out in the early hours of the morning clearing a tree from a road in Donaghamore. 

Almost 150 ESB Network customers in Portlaoise were without power on Thursday morning following winds of up to 125 km/h last night.

Two separate outages on the Stradbally Road and the Timahoe Road happened around 07:30am on Thursday morning. 

Met Éireann did not include Laois in the Status Yellow warning alert for Storm Hector which covered Offaly and Kildare.

Power is expected to be restored to these homes around noon as ESB Network work around the clock to fix power outages affecting 35,000 customers around the country. 

Mountrath has also been hit with power outages affecting 21 ESB customers. 

The head of communications with ESB has said the power cuts are mainly due to trees falling on power lines.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Bernardine Maloney said more than half - 18,000 homes, farms and businesses - are in the northwest.

"Enormous trees in full leaf came down with the winds last night," she said. 

"The issue is we have summer-type trees in winter wind.

"We have a number of trees in full leaf that have come down in the winter winds, so one tree down is affecting a large number of customers.

"We expect a lot of people back in the earlier part of the day and we do expect everyone back by this evening.

"We currently have 35,000 people out," she added.

People are advised not to go near fallen trees due to potentially live power lines in the area.

The ESB advises people who come across a fallen tree to call 1850-372-999.

Forecasters issued two weather warnings yesterday afternoon, just days after the country basked in high temperatures and sunny conditions.

Warning

ESB Networks is also reminding customers of the precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut:

Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks at 1850 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully 
Turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost
Leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored
Take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames
Test smoke alarms with fresh batteries
Ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.