Strong winds batter Northern Ireland

Published Thursday, 05 December 2013
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Northern Ireland Electricity has said it will continue to work through the night to restore power to around 1,200 homes after severe gales affected the network.

NIE have restored electricity to 30,000 properties since the strong winds hit the region on Wednesday night.

Emergency crews are responding to a number of remaining faults on the electricity network across Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Electricity launched an escalation plan on Wednesday in anticipation of the bad weather after a yellow weather warning for Thursday was issued by the Met Office.

"We had been monitoring the incoming weather and made arrangements to open our Local Incident Centres and put additional emergency crews, engineers and call handlers on standby," Julia Carson, NIE Communications Manager explained.

"These Local Incident Centres and our Incident Control Centre in Craigavon will remain open until the repair effort has been completed."

She continued: "Due to the high volumes of individual faults, some customers in isolated areas may be off supply for a longer period."

Fallen trees closed a number of roads across the region. Areas still affected include Portrush in Co Antrim, Cookstown and Clogher in Co Tyrone and Maghera in Co Londonderry.

Elsewhere, a woman escaped injury on Antrim Road, north Belfast after a tree struck her car.

Due to the extreme conditions, the continental market at Belfast City Hall was closed temporarily as a precaution.

In west Belfast, a shop on the Grosvenor Road has partially collapsed.

Staff told UTV's Marc Mallett that they were moving signs from the front of the premises because of the severe winds when the building's side fell down.

There was also flooding in Portstewart, Co Londonderry after waves - some as big as 20ft - battered the promenade.

We would hope to have the majority of customers back on supply tonight.


Police have advised motorists to exercise caution due to the adverse weather conditions.

Westerly gales spread southwards across the UK, with widespread gusts of 70mph hitting the region.

A heavy band of rain accompanied the blustery conditions, which were strongest near the north coast.

The winds are forecast to ease to be replaced with icy conditions across counties Londonderry, Antrim, Armagh and Down.

According to the Met Office, ice is expected to form from late Thursday afternoon with temperatures across the road network likely to fall below freezing.

A mixture of rain, sleet and snow showers will continue through into Friday morning.

In other parts of the UK, an amber weather warning is in place, with winds believed to have reached 90mph in parts of Scotland.

A lorry driver was killed after his heavy-goods vehicle toppled over onto a number of cars outside Edinburgh.

Thousands of people are being evacuated in England and a man on a mobility scooter has also been killed after a tree fell on him in a park in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

NIE Customer Helpline telephone: 08457 643 643
The Environment Agency issued a number of severe flood warnings for parts of Great Britain - the highest category, warning of danger to life - to the east coast and north Wales.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
Bachelors in Belfast wrote (134 days ago):
Damned peas!
PB in Belfast wrote (136 days ago):
Those trees between the zoo and Ben Madigan should be cut down...that lady had a lucky escape today.1
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