Retailers around the country are reopening their businesses after yesterday’s Hurricane Ophelia, which has left three people dead and 245,000 homes and businesses without power.
A large number of supermarkets closed their doors yesterday, including Dunnes Stores, M&S, Lidl, Aldi and Tesco, as well as a number of stores operating under the SuperValu banner.
Some Tesco stores opened early in the morning, but the retailer closed all of its branches nationwide by lunchtime, noting in a comment, ‘All colleagues who were due to work today but were unable to turn in due to difficulties travelling or for other reasons will be paid for today.’
All Tesco stores have been able to reopen as of this morning.
Both Lidl and Aldi have reported that while most of their stores are open again today, a small number are unable to open immediately.
ESB Networks has warned that some of 245,000 homes and businesses without electricity may be without it for a number of days while repair work is being done.
According to a statement issued yesterday (16 October), 5% to 10% of affected customers could be waiting up the ten days. A map of power outages can be viewed here.
It has also warned the public that if they ‘come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they are live and extremely dangerous.’
Damage to electricity infrastructure should be reported by calling 1850 372 99
As well as power outages, many regions are experiencing problems with internet and phone access.
Eir reports that around 30,000 its customers are without internet, and has also released a statement saying, ‘Storm Ophelia has delivered unprecedented and widespread levels of damage to eir’s infrastructure throughout the country. This includes damage to poles and cables. While damage has been sustained throughout the country, the Southwest and Midlands are the worst affected areas and in particular Cork County.
‘Field technicians have, as a priority, attempted to make safe any dangerous poles or cables that have posed a public safety risk. Site access and road closures continued to pose a challenge overnight. You can report any dangerous situations involving fallen telephone cables or poles on 1850 245 424. Please only call this number in emergency situations.’
Virgin Media has reported similar disruptions to service, saying, ‘Following yesterday’s storm Ophelia, we are aware of a number of Electricity network outages throughout the country that may also be affecting our services and isolated parts of our network infrastructure.
‘Over the course of today, and the coming days, our crews will be dispatched to affected areas to restore service as quickly as possible. For further updates please continue to check this page for the latest information.’
Photo: Fairview Park after Hurricane Ophelia, taken by Jane McMahon
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