9,000 households still without power as storm continues

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Stormy seas in Estonia.
Stormy seas in Estonia. Source: Toomas Traagel

9,000 households in Estonia remain without power as of Friday afternoon, after a Level Two (of three) storm made landfall Thursday night.

30,000 customers have had their power restored since the storm broke, though continued high winds are making this work difficult.

Tartu County has seen the most progress in getting the electricity switched back on – where there were 4,000 outages earlier on Friday, now that figure is around 300.

 Hardi Puusepp of grid distributor Elektrilevi said: "There is hope of medium voltage failures getting resolved by the evening in Tartu County; however, winds have yet to calm down. Work on eliminating failures is ongoing across Estonia around the clock and regardless of the weather."

The number of outages is still largest in Parnu County, where 3,027 households are without power.

Close to 60 brigades are working on restoring power to households still cut off, while drones are being used extensively – though these can only fly when windspeeds are below 20 m/s.

While early morning, 20,000 households were cut off, by mid-morning that figure had fallen to 11,000, and then 9,000 by mid-afternoon.

While the storm was forecast to hit Saaremaa hard, its eastward progress led to the greatest number of outages in Tartu County, at 4,600 as of early Friday morning, along with 4,100 in Pärnu County.

Harju County has been almost as badly affected, with 3,500 outages early on Friday, and central Estonia and also the islands have been badly affected.

The high winds have affected ferry connections to the smaller islands, since these tend to make use of smaller vessels, as well as the link between Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.

The 8.15 passenger ferry from Sõru (Hiiumaa) to Triigi (Saaremaa), and the 9.30 return journey, have already been canceled, while specified at 2 p.m.

The 7 a.m. ferry from Kihnu island to Munalaid, near Pärnu and its 8.30 am return journey were also canceled, as was the Pärnu to Ruhnu service for Friday.

Connections between the mainland and Estonia's two largest islands, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, were still functioning as of 7 a.m. this morning.

As reported by ERR News, a Level Two storm warning was issued Thursday night, with wind speeds in the Gulf of Finland forecast to reach up to 28 m/s (up to Force 10 on the Beaufort scale).

The winds are likely only to calm down somewhat in the afternoon.

The Road Administration's (Maanteeamet) Tark Tee map app reported branches and even whole trees fallen on many roads nationwide, so care should be exercised when driving.

Grid distributor Elektrilevi's troubleshooting work will be ongoing through Friday, exacerbated by te fact that the storm is not likely to blow over until evening.

Customers still without power will receive a text message informing them about when power is likely to be restored, BNS reports

Hardi Puusepp of Elektrilevi's control center said Friday morning that: "Based on current information, strong winds will calm down only at around nine o'clock tonight, which will make it more difficult for us to deal with faults. We must be prepared for more outages," adding that brigades dealing with the issues have been working overnight, while Friday's work is likely to continue into the weekend.

The Rescue Board's (Päästeamet) western region reported 72 issues, the northern region 50, while the southern region had been called out to 34 as of Friday morning. The eastern region was less affected.

Most call-outs related to obstructions on the road, including fallen trees, downed power lines, and also damaged roofing

Elektrilevi's outages map in English, updated in real time, is here, while the state weather service (Riigi ilmateenistus) page is here.

This article was updated with fresher figures on the number of power outages.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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