AK: Winter storms leave hundreds without Christmas electricity

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Power lines in South Estonia, weighed down with snow. Source: ERR

Storms on Monday left hundreds of households in South Estonia without electricity, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reports.

The outages mostly affected the most rural areas of Võru County, with Võru town and other larger population centers largely escaping the problem, caused by wet snow more than wind speeds. Tartu County has also been hit. 

Customer manager at grid distributor Elektrilevi told AK that: "What happened was that wet snow got on power lines, with branches weighed down by the deposits causing short circuits … In relation to this, several medium voltage lines went out." 

As of Monday over 500 customers were waiting to be reconnected to their electricity, AK reported, while snow and high winds have caused around 1,000 power cuts in recent days. 

This meant many people in more outlying areas had to mark Christmas by candle-light, or at least without electricity.

Rõuge municipality resident Aigi Young told AK that: "It is very hard to heat a country house in winter. We have an oven, but the remainder of the systems run on electricity, for instance the floor insulation, which uses an electrical pump to keep it running. In other words, it was actually very cold, and tough on the children, and naturally very dark, as it already gets dark at 4 p.m." 

Elektrilevi says it is doing all it can to rectify the issues as soon as possible, adding that its work is hampered by soft soil resulting from the weather conditions. 

The company still asks customers to report outages via its fault line on 1343. 

At the time of writing, more outages are now reported in neighboring Tartu County, at a little under 300, than Võru County. 

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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