Municipalities face problems reporting storm information to Elektrilevi

Fallen trees on the streets of Türi.
Fallen trees on the streets of Türi. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

More than 48 hours have passed since Saturday's storm but there are still fallen trees on power lines which network operator Elektrilevi is unaware of. Municipality governments claim it is difficult to forward information as Elektrilevi's telephones are busy.

Devastating winds hit the city of Türi in Järva County around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, but there were still fallen trees on the streets on Monday, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported on Monday.

Enn Mäger, director of Türi Haldus, said Elektrilevi has to deal with electrical problems in the area. "There is electricity in the lines and purely because of safety, we can not send our men to clean the trees up."

He added: "I also know that there is not much hope that the lines will be fixed today."

Mäger said the Türi rescue commando called and notified Elektrilevi of the fallen power lines. Eilo Eesmäe, chief of the rescue commando, said they have no actual obligation to do so, but the information was forwarded.

However, Elektrilevi heard of the fallen power lines through reporters from AK.

Andres Tõnissaar, board member of Elektrilevi, said: "We did not have information on the fallen power lines. Now that we have this info, I know that if there is not a brigade already sent, it will be done so today."

A similar situation arose in Järva Municipality in Ervita, where trees had fallen on lines exiting a 0.4 kilovolt distribution device. Representatives of the municipality said they have tried contacting Elektrilevi.

Maarja Kauge, head public relations officer of Järva Municipality, said it had taken a long time to speak to someone when they called the helpline: "We did eventually reach them and tried to solve the issue, but truly, the queues were long."

Elektrilevi also heard of the issues at Ervita through AK.

Tõnissaar said: "We always say, those [fallen power] lines are dangerous to everyone. If they are in reach, then we must react immediately."

AK could not find out exactly why the information about fallen power lines had not reached Elektrilevi. According to Tõnissaar, the network operator has done everything they can to help municipalities to contact their regional administrator.

He said: "Elektrilevi and municipality governments have agreed on contact persons and that's why these contacts exist, so that they could be reached in extreme situations."

Elektrilevi has been able to restore electricity for almost 50,000 people in more than 400 locations. Another 130 locations are still awaiting waiting for power and approximately 1,500 people affected on Monday night.

The company said electricity will be restored across the country by Tuesday evening.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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