Monday 26 September 2016

Weather warning remains in place as almost 800 homes still without power after Storm Eva

Wayne O'Connor, Ralph Riegel and David Kearns

Published 24/12/2015 | 02:30

People struggle to do their Christmas shopping in Westport as Storm Eva hits Photo: Paul Mealey

Almost 800 properties remain without power this Christmas Eve morning after damage to power lines from Storm Eva.

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ESB Networks said that at one stage over 6,000 customers in Cork and Kildare lost power on Wednesday as a result of Storm Eva.

The worst affected areas were counties Meath, Dublin, Cavan Wexford and Cork and Tipperary.

The majority of those affected have been restored but there are still approximately 800 homes without power.

Still without power this morning are properties on Leeson Street Dublin, Virginia in Cavan and Enniscorthy in Wexford. 

Bernardine Maloney of the ESB said crews were working around the clock to have the power outages fixed.

"About 800 properties are without power this morning but hopefully we will have all restored later on today."

While conditions will remain blustery for a while today, Met Éireann believes Storm Eva is likely to clear by this afternoon.

High winds and heavy rain battered the country yesterday evening with counties Cork, Kildare and Wicklow worst affected.

ESB PowerCheck showing the areas without power
ESB PowerCheck showing the areas without power

A 'Yellow' wind warning for Munster and Leinster remains in place with gusts of up to 100km/h expected

The warning is valid until 11 am.

Met Éireann is forecasting gusts of 90-100km/h at times this morning.

Motorists making the journey home for Christmas are advised to take extra care.

Despite Storm Eva expecting to ease off later today, ESB has asked people to remain vigilant as high winds could damage overhead electricity wires and poles in the worst-hit areas.

An orange weather warning threatened Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork and Kerry overnight with gusts of up to 120kph.

Met Éireann issued a similar yellow warning for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.

The Coast Guard had to intervene yesterday to ensure that nine residents on Tory Island, off the coast of Donegal, were able to get home for Christmas.

Rough seas interrupted ferry services to and from the island in recent weeks resulting in few opportunities for residents to return home for Christmas.

However, along with the passengers, supplies of fresh food and 45 bags of shopping and toys were also flown to the island yesterday.

While conditions were set to improve slightly today, showers will be still extremely heavy at times in the west and north.

There is also a risk of isolated thunderstorms and some are likely to be of snow on higher ground.

Meanwhile, mountainous parts of Donegal are the only areas which may see some snow on Christmas Day with mild and wet weather forecast for the rest of the country.

Met Éireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe said conditions will be chilly and some frost is expected ahead of Santa's arrival tonight.

However, temperatures will improve tomorrow and stay mild into the New Year.

"Santa will be alright to get here," said Ms Lowe. "Christmas Eve will be a bright and cold day, colder than it has been for some time with quite considerable wind chill," she added.

"There will be good sunshine but some showers as well, turning wintry over high ground in the north and west with some hail and sleet."

While the majority of the country will not have a white Christmas, Met Éireann said that parts of the north west will see some fleeting snow.

"Eventually it will get milder everywhere and we could get a bit of sleet or snow on the Donegal hills and mountains on Christmas Day but it will be transient so won't last long," said Ms Lowe. "For most places it won't be a white Christmas. The reasonably mild trend will continue beyond Christmas and into the New Year," she added.

The weather is expected to get wetter in the coming days and further weather warnings may be issued over Christmas.

"Each event might not ­warrant a weather warning but there is certainly the potential between Christmas Day and into the New Year that there will be a warning about severe weather but we cannot put any detail on that yet," said Ms Lowe.

And there will be more misery for flood-hit communities. Areas that have been badly hit by flooding in recent weeks are going to see further rain over Christmas which is expected to cause water levels to increase again.

"If you add up the totals for the next week or so they are above normal everywhere, especially on the west coast and the south west coast," said Ms Lowe.

"That will bring potential for further flooding particularly in places that are already flooded," she added.

Meanwhile, the body of a Spanish fisherman was recovered from a Cork harbour last night.

The man, understood to be in his late 50s, was found in Castletownbere harbour in west Cork shortly after 6pm.

He was found by a fellow fisherman. The man's body was recovered from the sea and he was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unclear whether the man may have fallen into the sea and drowned or whether he was taken ill and then fell into the water. Gardaí said the matter is being treated as a tragic accident.

Irish Independent

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