Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Sixth Special Report


1.  Weather

Forecast wind speeds—Widespread gusts of 45 knots throughout Saturday, 18 September 1999 with isolated gusts up to 55 knots. Winds decreasing during the evening and much lighter on Sunday, 19 September 1999.

Actual wind speeds confirmed by the Met Office—Widespread frequent gusting over 50 knots across Northern Ireland on Saturday, 18 September 1999 between 09.00 and 18.00. Maximum gust recorded was 55 knots. Winds decreasing from 18.00 onwards.

2. Incident Room

Manned— Saturday, 18 September 1999 07.30 hrs until 23.30 hrs on Saturday, 18 September 1999 and Sunday, 19 September 1999 08.00 hrs. until 15.00 hrs.

3. Customer Interruptions

  Estimated No. of Customers InterruptionsRestoration Time <3 hours
Total No. of HV Faults6318,01878%
Total No. of LV Faults14055056%
First fault(s) identified—10.00 hrs. Dungannon/Craigavon.

4. Call Handling

   No. of Call Handlers
Customer Call Centres:-Belfast6
 -Additional staff on standby + BT staff.
Calls received6,327
Calls answered by call handlers4,550
Calls answered by Message Link970
Calls abandoned by customer807

5. Media

  •   Prior warning issued Friday, 17 September 1999

  •   Bulletins put out 30 minutes after every significant fault is reported.

  •   Bulletins put out immediately after every fault is restored.

  •   BBC — News every hour. Updating Ceefax.

  •   UTV — Not carrying news on Teletext.

  •   Downtown—Hourly broadcasts.

    6. Payments

  •   The only Customer Care Centre that had customers off supply greater than 24 hours was Craigavon (Estimated number: 55).

  •   6 Guaranteed Standard (GS2) payments were made.

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    © Parliamentary copyright 1999
    Prepared 18 November 1999