DCSIMG

Villages still cut off after snowfall

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editorial image

PARTS of the island remain cut off this morning after Friday’s snowfall.

The north and west of the island have been worst hit.

The Manx Electricity Authority has teams of workers trying to ease problems after hundreds of people were cut off.

The Department of Infrastructure has also been battling against the elements.

A statement from the department reads: ‘The department made good progress today in some difficult conditions.

‘Teams managed to reopened a single track into Kirk Michael from the north but have not broken through from the south on the coast road again. Unfortunately, it is likely to be many days before we will get through on the Cronk-y-Voddy where there are snow drifts of 10ft in places.

‘Teams with heavy plant managed to get access to several people in need for the emergency service but we are still trying to get through to some others in particularly inaccessible areas..

‘Glen Maye, Dalby, Cronk-y-Voddy and Kirk Michael remain effectively cut off, many still without power.’

Today the DoI is continuing to work in these areas, plus Ballamodha, Braaid and Foxdale.

The statement continues: ‘We will also continue to dig our way up to the Creg-ny-Baa where we are just over halfway up the straight.’

The DoI is today going to move into some of the worst-affected estates in north and west Douglas and Onchan.

‘We will also seek to ensure that light timing are adjusted at strategic junctions to help the rush hour flow of traffic on Monday through the limit routes into Douglas.’

The MEA said: ‘Extreme weather conditions on the Isle of Man over the past 36 hours have imposed significant stresses on the electricity overhead line system – causing the most widespread damage since the storms of January 2005.

‘However, the system has demonstrated a high degree of resilience so far, and in combination with MEA’s experienced response teams across the organisation, supplies to almost 99 per cent of customers have been maintained.

‘Our priorities remain the safety and welfare of our customers. However, some customers may be off supply beyond the weekend. At this point in time, we are focussing our efforts to restore the higher voltage systems which will hasten our overall restoration times.’

In a statement issued just before 8am, the authority said its current estimate for recovery times (based on weather conditions which appear to have stabilised) were as follows:

12-24 hours: Eairystane, Dalby to Waterfall Hotel

48 hours: Barregarrow, Jurby Church, Sartfield, Fleshwick

72 Hours and beyond: Ballacallin Hotel – Lhag, Cronk-y-Voddy, Glen Helen, Ballaholly to Ballcrye, areas of Abbeylands

An MEA spokesman said; ‘We have successfully restored some supplies. This is of course no consolation to approximately 600 of our customers currently off supply. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and would also like to thank these customers for their understanding and patience whilst our teams battle against severe conditions to restore normal operations.’

The MEA urged customers to safeguard themselves and check on vulnerable neighbours.

The MEA’s customer support team’s phone number is 687687.

The spokesman added: ‘Our teams are working around the clock but we have been hampered by restricted access to some parts of the island. We would like to thank the assistance we have received from our colleagues in the Department of Infrastructure, emergency services, Civil Defence and the local community.’

Phil King, the MEA’s chief executive, said: ‘I am very proud of the efforts of the entire MEA team, who continue to work in difficult conditions to ensure customers supplies are restored as soon as practicably possible.’

The snowfall has led to problems for farmers, especially those with new-born lambs.

Scores are feared dead because of the low temperatures and the amount of snow that’s fallen.

The Steam Packet’s services are back to normal after disruption caused by stormy weather.

Have you taken any photos of the snow?

Email newsdeskATnewsiom.co.im

The photo above was taken in Glen Maye by reader Andrew Corlett

 

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