Wednesday 28 September 2016

Thousands left in the dark as Storm Jonas spreads chaos across country

System which killed 35 in the US brings more flooding

Greg Harkin and David Kearns

Published 27/01/2016 | 02:30

The 4x4 from which a farmer was rescued in the River Roe at
Dungiven, Co Derry. Photo: Margaret McLoughlin.
The 4x4 from which a farmer was rescued in the River Roe at Dungiven, Co Derry. Photo: Margaret McLoughlin.
Toft car park in in Salthill as Storm Jonas hits the West coast. Photo: Andrew Downes
Cars destroyed in Toft car park in the flooding in Salthill as storm Jonas hits the West coast. Photo: Andrew Downes
Cars destroyed in Toft car park in the flooding in Salthill as storm Jonas hits the West coast. Photo: Andrew Downes
2.23pm today, the moment the sea at Malahide estuary started to swallow parked cars. Photo: Paul Larkin
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
A man struggling through the torrential rain in Castlebar yesterday. Photo: Paul Mealey
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
A commuter struggles with an umbrella in the wind. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

Close to 1200 homes are without power this morning after storm-force winds swept across much of the country in the wake of Storm Jonas.

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High tides, heavy rain and 120km/h gales combined to cause chaos in communities as the remnants of the blizzard which left 35 dead in the USA hit Ireland.

The majority of the areas hit overnight were in the mid-west of Ireland, where hundreds of homes had their power cut in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.

ESB Network crews are currently working in the areas affected, and said they should have at least half of the 1169 properties suffering faults restored by 10 am. 

Read More: Storms cost Eir €500,000 in last three months of 2015

Worst hit is the small town of Patrickwells in Limerick, where 313 homes lost their power shortly after 5:30 am.

Among the others towns and villages with downed power cables include Kilrush (103), Drumquin (101), Birdhill (99), Kyletaun (71), and Ashbourne (163) in Meath.

Met Éireann has issued three status yellow weather alerts for today but despite the strong winds and heavy rainfall, calmer weather is due to set in as the stormy conditions clear later this morning.

Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning

There will be sunny spells and scattered showers as the blustery weather moves north-easterly, Met Éireann said

A wind warning is in effect for Dublin, Wexford, Wicklow, Galway, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.

The forecaster is reporting an average speed of between 50 to 65 km/h, with gusts reaching upwards of 90 km/h, and said that coastal areas could experience even more powerful gales.

A second yellow flood warning for Wexford, Galway, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford is due to expire shortly after 9 am.

A combination of strong winds, high tides and heavy rain has increased the risk of flooding along coastal areas.

Elsewhere, AA Roadwatch is reporting a number of early morning road closures in several counties, with coastal routes particularly affected.

Read More: Insurers still refuse cover in areas that have flood defences

Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning

In Galway traffic is moving slow heading towards Claregalway, while near Cork it is busy on approaching the Dunkettle Interchange on the N8 Dublin Rd and on the N40 South Ring.

Gardaí are asking motorists to avoid the Carraroe/ Ballintogher Road in Sligo due to flooding. Also affected is the Enniscrone/ Easky Road near Leaffony.

Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning
Commuters struggling in the wind and rain in Clontarf earlier this morning

The Enniscrone/ Tullylin Road has been closed at Lacknaslevia.

Meanwhile the M1 Belfast/ Dublin Rd has reopened southbound.

AA Roadwatch has asked motorists to take extra care, saying that the majority of roads are very wet this morning and that and caution is advised.

Irish Rail has resumed services between Newry and Dundalk following an earlier closure.

The Western Corridor line remains flooded between Ennis and Limerick but bus transfers are in operation with a restricted service into and out of Sixmilebridge.

Read More: 'We got no warning': vehicles destroyed as car park under water

On Tuesday a farmer near Dungiven, County Derry, had to be rescued when his 4x4 vehicle was swept almost a kilometre along a river before being jammed against a tree.

It took a rescue team and seven fire crews to bring him to safety.

In the UK, meanwhile, the remnants of the storm that caused severe snow storms to the US is bringing heavy rain and gales to large swaths of the country.

Severe weather warning are in places across Wales, Scotland and parts of the UK as communities hit the flooding after Christmas are warned to expect further deluge.

Irish Independent

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