EM - ESB Storm Special - (Page Cover1)

ESB workers go the extra mile during storm February 2014 www.esb.ie/em STORM SPECIAL CUSTOMER LETTERS Yesterday two crews from ESB Networks came to our home to reconnect us. On my own behalf and my husband's I would like to say a most sincere thank you. The crew from Finglas showed us such kindness, concern and also demonstrated skill in their work. Thank you and we hope that these crews will get acknowledgement as it is so deserved. Christine and Ted Cronin, Co. Waterford. The west Cork heroes from ESB Networks Kanturk. Pictured (l-r): Patrick Fleming, poling contractor; Tommy Murphy, ESB Networks Kanturk; Ger Healy, ESB Networks Kanturk; Brendan O'Donoghue, poling contractor and Dermot Conway, NIE. Photo: Neil Warner. WAS DARWIN THE STORM OF THE CENTURY? 8 Virgil Porter, Divisional Manager Mid West, asks whether the recent storm that wreaked havoc in February of this year was the worst to hit Irish coasts since the new millenium began. "WELL I CERTAINLY hope so! I'm pretty sure the staff who worked around the clock to restore supply and the customers who were without power for days are also hoping we never see a storm like this again in our lifetimes. The storm hit on Wednesday, February 12th. We had an amber warning the night before. Given the steady flow of bad weather since before Christmas, an amber alert was nothing new and nothing to get overly concerned about. I was with Denis Cambridge, the South Divisional Manager, at a meeting in Portlaoise on the Wednesday morning. That morning, the alert changed from orange to red; now we were concerned. Within two hours the storm hit. South West Division was the first to see the impact. The numbers of customers out was rocketing. Mid West seemed to be okay at first and then it hit us too. I couldn't believe the rate at which the numbers of customers out was rising. Needless to say, we moved out of Portlaoise and back to our bases. I declared a divisional emergency in the Mid West and requested all resources to be made available to deal with the damage in line with our divisional emergency plans. The number of customers without power was continuing to rise at an enormous rate. At 10.30am, the number of customers out was 1,468 and by 3.30pm it was 110,000. This represented a quarter of all the customers in the Mid West. Customer numbers out doesn't tell the full story. We always need to know the number of faults because it is this number that demonstrates the scale of what we are dealing with. At the worst point, with 110,000 customers without power, we had 3,600 faults on the local MV and LV system. To put this in context, at the worst point of the Christmas storms on December 26th, we had 600 faults on the system in Mid West alone and that took over two days to clear with the help of staff from around the country. I never thought I would ever see that scale of damage, nor did the supervisors and staff who had dealt with many more storms than I had. By Wednesday afternoon, we knew it... this one was massive!" n Our eldest boy is profoundly mentally and physically handicapped, and all he has in his little life are his comforts - the comforts we try to provide for him, in his own home. All of the equipment we rely on to keep him comfortable is powered by electricity, and that was lost to him. From the moment we contacted ESB, they could not have been more helpful. You have no idea how much your efforts meant to us and him. Thanks to the guys and girls that work for ESB. John O'Connell, Co. Limerick (published in Irish Independent) Kate and I would like to thank all the people involved who worked so hard to keep supplies going and to restore them when the lines were down. It really was a great effort on the part of the men and women who worked so hard to keep the services going in what were very severe conditions indeed. We had an outage but it was great to wake up and find everything restored. Kate Byrne, Co. Dublin http://www.esb.ie/em

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