Mihkel Härm, chairman of the board of distribution network operator Elektrilevi, said that power outages caused by the recent days' storm are extensive and it may take days before power is restored for all consumers.
"The network situation is pretty bad at the moment as we have 35,000 customers without power across Estonia. Making the situation more difficult is the fact that winds remain strong and there are areas where we cannot operate hoists for safety reasons," Härm told ERR Sunday morning.'
The head of the DSO said that the storm is not forecast to quiet down before 9-10 p.m. Sunday, and that a more accurate estimate of how long it will take to repair outages can only be provided once that happens.
"We also looked at what we could compare the current storm to and came back, as one example, with the October storm in 2006 when we had 42,000 customers without power at one point. This was 52,000 yesterday. Back in 2006, it took eight days to restore power to all customers," Härm said.
He stressed that the company has nevertheless managed to restore power to 17,000 customers.
"But as I've said, strong wind is keeping us grounded. I cannot recall such a nationwide storm over several days from the last couple of decades," he remarked.
By 10:20 a.m. Sunday, 32,791 households were without power all over Estonia, based on data from Elektrilevi.
Elektrilevi: Over 60 teams working to eliminate storm damage
According to an Elektrilevi press release, over 60 teams are busy fixing storm damage all over Estonia, while the storm continuing means new outages are not out of the question.
"We have deployed additional teams and are working in two shifts to sort outages and restore power as quickly as possible. Because storm winds are forecast to persist throughout the day, we believe there will be new outages. Unfortunately, restoring power can be life-threatening in such weather conditions, while the safety of our staff is paramount. We urge people to heed all warnings and stay indoors if the weather is dangerous," the press release reads.
Elektrilevi is also asking people to stay away from fallen power lines as they can be life-threatening.
Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski