Travel warning as severe gales hit NI

Published Thursday, 26 December 2013
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Police have said motorists should only travel if their journey is absolutely necessary as widespread gales started to batter large parts of Northern Ireland on Boxing Night.

Travel warning as severe gales hit NI
Strong winds are expected to continue on Friday (© Pacemaker)

"Motorists are advised of hazardous driving conditions across Northern Ireland tonight due to adverse weather conditions and fallen trees," a PSNI spokesman said on Thursday night, urging caution.

A number of road closures have affected the Dungannon, Omagh, Cookstown, Banbridge and Fermanagh areas due to fallen trees. Antrim, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Lisburn, Holywood, Portadown, Warrenpoint and Newry have also been affected.

The M1 motorway west-bound was closed at Junction 12 shortly before midnight, while the Belfast-bound carriageway of the A2 Belfast Road at Carrickfergus was also affected.

In Londonderry the Foyle Bridge was temporarily closed to high vehicles after 9pm. A 30mph speed limit remained in place overnight.

Police said street lighting was also down in places across Northern Ireland, with fallen NIE power lines also reported.

Motorists are advised only to travel if their journey is absolutely necessary.

PSNI

Earlier a Flybe flight from Manchester and an Aer Lingus flight from Heathrow due to land at Belfast City Airport were both diverted to Belfast International due to high winds across the runway.

Dublin Airport said six flights were diverted to "other airports" on Thursday night.

Meanwhile NIE emergency crews, engineers and call handlers remain on stand-by and ready to respond.

"Northern Ireland Electricity has warned of possible damage to the electricity network, especially in southern and eastern coastal areas and exposed high ground", a spokeswoman said.

"We would like to remind the public to stay away from any fallen electricity lines and if they do lose electricity supplies they should contact the NIE Customer Helpline on 08457 643 643 or report the fault online at nie.co.uk."

The Met Office said high winds of up to 60mph inland and up to 80mph in coastal areas and heavy rain will continue in Northern Ireland throughout Friday.

Forecasters added: "The public should be aware of the potential for disruption, especially where the high winds are combined with heavy rainfall.

"Please watch for possible updates to this warning, especially those who have travel plans."

Meanwhile a red alert has been issued for the Republic of Ireland with severe gales affecting counties Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

"Severe and damaging gusts" of up to 85mph are expected, reaching as high as 95mph in exposed coastal areas, with high seas and a danger of coastal flooding.

It added that an orange alert is in place for the rest of the country.

A severe amber warning is also in place in northern England and northern parts of Wales.

© UTV News
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11 Comments
anon in Everywhere wrote (114 days ago):
Well the wind has died down, and now, we have nothin to talk about.. Atleast the effect of too much sprouts has gone, what a co-inky dink. Happy new year. ;)
Eddie in Belfast wrote (115 days ago):
I like the wind : ) it gets the clothes dry
Paul in Downpatrick wrote (115 days ago):
Car is parked but can't find my skates after getting drunk over Christmas.
Malcolm Murphy in Antrim wrote (115 days ago):
I was walking home from the pud tonight that wind nearly blew my tupee off only for the tupee glue i got for christmas It would be sailin down the road ..! Thanks Sadie..!:-)
Anon in 1Tipper1 wrote (115 days ago):
Really strong stormforce winds through out Belfast this evening... Or was it just the sprouts revenge after yesterdays Christmas dinners eh.. :)
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