Storm Barney: 25,000 households to remain without power overnight
Some 25,000 households will be without electricity overnight as Storm Barney sweeps across the country.
The damage "can be predominantly attributable to large trees which have fallen on the overhead lines in the southern half of the country as a result of gale force winds with gusts of up to 125km/h", ESB reported this evening.
The main areas affected are Tullamore, Loughrea, Athlone, Ennis, Tralee, Limerick, Killarney, Newcastlewest, Kilkenny, Clonmel, Roscrea, Bray and Arklow.
ESB Networks have dispatched crews who worked throughout the evening at numerous locations nationwide.
Our crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,Stay Clear of fallen wires or damaged network #staysafestayclear— ESB Networks (@ESBNetworks) November 17, 2015
They have already restored electricity to approximately 20,000 homes.
However, approximately 25,000 households will remain without power ovenight.
Estimated restoration times, when available, will be updated on http://www.esbpowercheck.ie
"Unfortunately due to the large number of faults, many customers will remain without power overnight," a spokesperson said.
"So far, our crews have restored power to approximately 20,000 customers since the height of the storm.
"We expect power to be restored to the majority of our customers by tea time tomorrow."
The forecast is for a windy and stormy evening with a Status Orange weather warning in operation for Munster, Leinster and South Connacht.
Dublin, Wicklow, Galway, Kerry, Clare, and Limerick can expect gust speeds to reach upwards of 100-125 km/hr along the coast.
A status yellow warning has also been issued for Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford.
Gardaí are advising motorists to drive with care during the stormy conditions, and have asked for anyone spotting "falling or fallen debris" to contact their local garda station.
Speaking to Independent.ie, a Met Eireann spokesperson said the 'Orange Alert' will come into force in the late afternoon and evening for Dublin and Wicklow, and will remain in place for counties Galway, Clare, Limerick and Kerry for the foreseeable future.
“We are getting the front end of Storm Barney and its affecting mostly the southern half of the country.
“The winds will peak in early afternoon with the southern counties definitely feeling it.”A scattering of showers in the west is expected to extend to all parts of the country by midday, the Met said.
Elsewhere, Limerick City and County Council are warning residents to avoid travel where necessary this evening.
#StormBarney is hitting the west Wales coast now. Debris on roads, power cuts. Take care everyone if you have to drive anywhere tonight— Carol Ritchie (@cazzybrynberian) November 17, 2015
At least av emergency lights in house. 3 hours of light during a power cut.Every home should have it. Power is back ... for now #StormBarney— Padraigh75 (@padraighk) November 17, 2015
Thank god I'm now home, think it's time to batten down the hatches as it's blowing a hooley out there! #StormBarney— Sharon (@ShazsBookBlog) November 17, 2015
A statement from Limerick Council reads: "It is important that members of the public pay attention to Met Éireann's advisory as this weather system has the potential to deliver Storm Force 10 winds to Limerick for a period during the afternoon to early evening.
"Members of the public are advised to remain indoors where possible during the storm and to stay away from rivers and other water bodies."
Paul Moroney, Senior Engineer for Clare County Council added: "County Clare is likely to be affected to a greater extent than most other areas with the impact extending for a considerable distance inland through the afternoon.
"Our advice is to defer any planned road journeys during this period and to take special care in coastal and exposed areas."
AA RoadWatch is also advising motorists to take precautions “normally appropriate during such weather conditions”, asking drivers to be mindful of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists this afternoon.
“Wind blown debris is likely to be a problem on secondary routes in particular.
“High sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable on open or exposed roads.”
Fire crews throughout the country are dealing with fallen trees.
In Dublin, fire crews were dealing with fallen trees in the city centre, Tallaght, Dublin Mountains and the Malahide
A Ryanair flight aborted two attempted landings at Shannon Airport today before being forced to divert to Liverpool.
The airport reported the highest winds in the country as Storm Barney battered the island with the west coast suffering the brunt of its force.
With winds at Cork and Dublin also too strong for Ryanair flight FR-1183 from London Gatwick, the opted to divert to the nearest suitable airport which in this case was Liverpool.
The flight was due in Shannon at 2.40pm and the crew had commenced an approach when they decided to abort the attempt. The crew performed a ‘go-around’ procedure and entered a holding pattern in the hope the winds would die down.
The pilot confirmed that the maximum wind speed in which they could land was 50 knots (92.6 kmh) and they would not be able to land in anything higher than that.
A short time later, the crew commenced a second approach to the airport however winds were still too strong for a safe landing.
At the time, winds at Shannon Airport were gusting as high as 61 knots (113 kmh) while later, winds reached as high as 69 knots (128 kmh).
Winds in Dublin and Cork were also reported to be gusting over the 50 knot limit so the flight was unable to land at either airport.
A Ryanair spokeswoman said: "This flight from London Gatwick to Shannon performed a routine go-around before diverting to Liverpool due to high winds at Shannon Airport.
"The aircraft landed normally at Liverpool and will depart for Shannon when the weather improves. Ryanair sincerely apologised to all customers affected by this weather diversion which was entirely beyond our control."
Elsewhere in Clare, Shannon Ferries, which operates between Killimer in Clare and Tarbert in Kerry suspended sailings as a result of the winds.
The fire service and council staff responded to multiple reports of trees that fell on roadways in various parts of the county.
In Ennis, a road-sign buckled under the force of the wind and crashed onto the footpath near the town’s rail and bus station. No one was injured in that incident.
Two motorists escaped serious injury when they lost control of their cars in separate incidents on the M18 motorway. The first happened at around 7.30am in the northbound lane between Barefield and Crusheen.
Shortly before 1.00pm, a car lost control and collided with a crash barrier in the central reservation of the M18 between Newmarket on Fergus and Dromoland.
Units of the fire brigade from Shannon along with Gardaí and an ambulance responded to the incident.
One fire service vehicle created a rolling roadblock and brought traffic to a safe stop before they reached the accident scene. One person has been taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Traffic had been backed up for over a kilometre for about 40 minutes before one lane of the route was reopened. Once the crashed car was removed from the scene, the second land of the motorway was also opened.
As gale-force winds batter large parts of the country, Garda have shared footage of a patrol car's close call with a falling branch during high winds to warned motorists to stay safe this evening.
In a video posted its official Facebook page, a Garda spokesperson shared a near miss incident involving one of its Burglary Response units.
"Be careful out there! Severe weather warning in place!!
"Damage caused to Garda Burglary Response car in Blanchardstown on November 12th in high winds - expect the unexpected and drive safely if travelling in such conditions."