Heavy snow fall on roads in Craigantlet Hills, Co Down

Heavy snow fall on roads in Craigantlet Hills, Co Down

NORTHERN Ireland Electricity has launched an investigation after a blackout left around 200,000 homes and businesses temporarily without power in the Belfast area on Friday night.

It is the first time in decades that a a power cut on such a huge scale had happened in Belfast.

The power cut, which lasted between 10-20 minutes in parts of the city, was caused by a major fault on the transmission network.

Electricity has been restored to all customers affected by the fault.

“NIE engineers are investigating,” a statement read.

On Friday night, there are reports of 10ft snow drifts in Mallusk.

Some roads in the Glengormley, Newtownabbey and Carnmoney areas are impassable because of heavy snow falls and drifting.

Around 44,000 homes and businesses remain without electricity across Northern Ireland after storm-force winds of up to 55mph and heavy snow damaged the electricity network.

At one point 100,000 homes were without power across Northern Ireland.

NIE had called in help from the ESB in the Republic to deal with the large number of homes withot power.

Cable icing and trees bringing down lines and breaking poles led to the worst power cuts NIE say they have seen in 15 years.

The damage is concentrated in south and eastern areas of the region, and also parts of the North Coast.

The company says the clean-up could take two days, and the areas worst affected by power outages are counties Antrim and Down.

Many roads have been badly affected throughout the day becaue of the snow.

On Friday night, the PSNI said that all roads in Craigantlet were now closed and “impassible” because of heavy snow drifting in the Co Down hills.

The heavy snow cancelled Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying match against Russia at Windsor Park on Friday night.

It has been rescheduled for 3 pm on Saturday, March 23.

All of Satruday’s Irish League matches have been called off and will be replayed next Saturday, March 30.


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