Storm-force gales cause power cuts

Published Wednesday, 18 December 2013
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Extreme winds of up to 90mph left around 1,000 homes without power across Northern Ireland on Wednesday night amid a severe weather warning.

According to Met Office experts, counties Antrim and Londonderry have been the areas of Northern Ireland worst affected by stormy conditions - with the amber level alert due to continue until 8am on Thursday.

In the Republic, counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo have been under red alert - the most severe advisory level - while amber and yellow alerts were also in place on Wednesday.

A 23-year-old woman has been killed in Co Westmeath after a tree fell on her car on the Ballymahon Road in Mullingar.

It happened at about 5.30pm and the woman was taken to hospital, but died a short time later.

Another woman has been injured in Cork, where part of Kent train station collapsed due to the wind.

Power outages have also been caused on both side of the border.

Motorists everywhere should reduce their speed and use extreme caution on unlit roads where there have been high winds.

PSNI

NIE workers have responded to damage in northern and eastern areas as trees fell across power lines and electricity poles were broken.

A spokesperson warned some homes could remain without power overnight as the weather conditions mean it is unsafe for field staff to continue work.

Julia Carson, NIE Communications Manager said: "Our emergency crews will continue to work where it is safe to do so.

"We were prepared for the storm and have already restored over 6,000 customers to power since the winds swept across Northern Ireland this afternoon.

"However, we are expecting the winds to peak in the early hours of the morning, causing additional disruption to electricity supplies, especially in eastern and northern areas."

Customers are asked to contact the helpline if they lose power, or to report the fault online.

Police warned motorists to take care in the severe weather conditions as there was flooding and fallen trees on the roads.

In Londonderry the Christmas market at Guildhall Square closed early and the Foyle Bridge had to close to all vehicles.

High winds and heavy rain are expected to continue across Northern Ireland into the early hours of Thursday, followed by wintry showers bringing sleet and snow.

"There is still some uncertainty about the exact track of the swathe of strongest winds and peak gusts, but - in combination with heavy rain and some coastal flooding - the storm has the potential to bring some significant disruption," the Met Office Chief Forecaster warned earlier.

The winds are expected to ease during Thursday morning and give way to blustery and wintry conditions.

Temperatures are likely to hover just above freezing, but will feel much colder due to the wind-chill factor - more like -3C at times.

EXTERNAL LINKS / CONTACTS
Northern Ireland Electricity telephone: 08457 643 643
Previous storms across Northern Ireland in recent weeks have led to disruption, including to power supplies, and caused damage to buildings - even blowing over Stormont's Christmas tree.
© UTV News
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7 Comments
Lorraine in County Fermanagh wrote (121 days ago):
How can someone report a fault online if they have no power?????
John in Callisbrough wrote (121 days ago):
Mary - your point is?
Davy Chapman in South Belfast wrote (121 days ago):
Whose idea was it to put Frank Mitchell up on the roof on a night like that. Be afraid Frank, be afraid!!!
J in N.Ireland wrote (121 days ago):
So sad to hear about the young ladies death, thoughts with her family and friends always sad to lose someone so close to xmas : (
roy in larne wrote (121 days ago):
its northern ireland weathet you cant depend on maps here :)
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