At around 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, a total of 2,384 households across Estonia were without power, nearly half — 1,157 — of whom were in Saaremaa, according to real-time data being reported by Estonian network operator Elektrilevi.
These totals are down slightly from 2 p.m., when ERR's Estonian-language news reported Elektrilevi showing a combined 2,591 households without power, some 2,000 of which were on Estonia's biggest western island.
Wednesday afternoon's totals nonetheless represented an increase over the day from the 1,573 households in Saaremaa without power reported around 6:45 a.m.
Saaremaa has been struggling daily to restore power and communications throughout the island since heavy snows, freezing rain and poor conditions first hit them this weekend.
Wednesday's forecast once again calls for strong winds together with sleet and freezing rain, however, which could mean further power outages in the second half of the day, Elektrilevi said in a press release.
The network operator's auxiliary brigades have been working together with volunteers to locate failures under deep snow as well as clear power lines. A total of 40 crews are currently working on the island of Saaremaa, and additional help is already on the way to both Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.
"Repair crews have been working to their limits for four days straight already and eliminated an awful lot of faults," Elektrilevi board chair Mihkel Härm acknowledged. "One crew started work at 7:45 a.m. and wrapped up at 3 a.m. [the next morning]. Their goal was to keep working until power had been restored in Eikla; that was done at 2 a.m."
According to Härm, Wednesday's weather conditions finally gave them the chance to start using drones to map out existing faults along the network, allowing repair crews to work on repairs instead of wasting time looking for them.
The placement of additional generators being sent to the island is being determined in cooperation with Saaremaa's crisis committee and will prioritize areas on the island that have gone without power the longest.
Power outages can be reported to Elektrilevi by calling 1343 or via their MARU app. Customers will be notified of known failures via MARU and SMS together with an estimate for how long repairs may take.
In the event of an electrical accident, however, customers are urged to call emergency services at 112 immediately.
Editor: Aili Vahtla