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NIE Networks emergency crews battle high winds in restoration effort

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NIE Networks emergency crews have restored power to over 13,000 customers across Northern Ireland following the severe gales with gusts of up to 70 mph, which swept across Northern Ireland during the night.

The wind speeds remain high and there are currently around 4500 customers  without power. The worst affected areas remain across Counties Tyrone, Derry/Londonderry and Antrim, and there are also some smaller faults in exposed rural and coastal locations in Counties Down and Antrim.

Damage includes trees down across powerlines and broken electricity poles, and the Met Office weather warning for high winds and heavy rain remains in place throughout Friday, with the worst of the winds abating this morning.

NIE emergency crews are replacing broken poles, clear trees and branches and replacing and reconnecting overhead powerlines as part of a widespread effort to restore power.  Winds remain high and working conditions are difficult.  NIE Networks has opened its main Incident Centre in Craigavon, as well as local escalation bases.

Julia Carson, NIE Networks Communications Manager said, “We were in regular contact with the Met Office and had mobilised NIE Networks emergency crews, engineers and call handlers in preparation for any damage the severe weather may cause.  We have already restored power to 13,000 customers overnight and are continuing to assess the damage and carry out repairs.

“As the weather conditions are set to be blustery over the next few hours, there may be further damage to the network and we may need to wait for the high winds to abate to a level which allows our emergency crews to work safely.

“We would like to remind customers that if they do lose electricity supplies they should report the fault online at nienetworks.co.uk or 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.

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