Some households to have power restored by Friday

Storm damage on Sunday, October 8.
Storm damage on Sunday, October 8. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The weekend's storm left a total of 90,000 households without power. Harju and Lääne-Viru counties have the most customers still without electricity, while DSO Elektrilevi has said some might have to wait until Friday.

At the peak of the storm, which was exceptional in hitting all of Estonia over two days, 50,000 households were without power at the same time, while the total number of customers affected was 80,000-90,000, Mihkel Härm, head of Estonia's distribution system operator Elektrilevi, said.

Looking at the company's outages map Monday morning, Härm said that the worst of the crisis has been overcome, while many customers are still without power. The situation is the most difficult in Harju County, Lääne-Viru County and Hiiu County. "In other regions, we hope to sort out most outages today," Härm said.

"I'm afraid we won't be able to restore power for everyone before Friday. But, again, with the exception of these three counties, the situation should be pretty good by the end of the day and better still tomorrow."

Customers in Harju County will likely have to wait the longest for their power to be restored. Härm said that there were over 10,000 outages in the county at one time. Elektrilevi has moved teams from other parts of Estonia to the area.

Repair crews have been working in two shifts since Friday evening. Elektrilevi will dispatch over 100 teams Monday.

Härm rebuffed criticism according to which the storm took the DSO by surprise yet again. "We stood ready Friday evening, the men were ready to go," Härm said, adding that efforts were complicated by the fact the winds did not subside between Friday and Sunday evening. "The wind was so strong that we could not use lifts in the north and new outages kept happening. We can start repair work where no new outages will occur today."

"If we consider that the maximum width of a power lines corridor is 20 meters, or 10 meters to either side of the line, when a tree that's 20 meters tall falls, it will still fall on the lines. And if we get winds of 30 meters per second, we simply need to have enough repair crews available," Härm said, adding that, luckily, the DSO has access to a lot of teams right now.

"We could move all of our power lines underground, while it is clearly not a sensible solution, meaning that we must put up with fall storms that can last several days and that there will be outages."


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Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Marcus Turovski

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