Tuesday 25 April 2017

Travel chaos as trees and power lines down after 140kmh gales

Over 56,000 homes without electricity as storm hits hard

A family in Drumalee, Cavan, had a very lucky escape after a tree fell in the garden of their home. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
A family in Drumalee, Cavan, had a very lucky escape after a tree fell in the garden of their home. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
Workers look to clear a fallen tree from a road near Malahide Castle, Co Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Hairdresser Sara Leamy has to carry her dachshund 'Ted' into her salon due to strong winds. Photo: PA
ESB staff work to repair power lines. Photo: PA
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Storm Doris wreaked havoc across the country as power lines came crashing down and fallen trees caused serious damage to houses and vehicles.

Flights were cancelled as the weather bomb crashed into the country, bringing winds of 140kmh.

The worst hit areas were the north of Dublin and the north-west of the country.

ESB crews were working overnight last night to restore power, as some 56,000 homes were left without electricity at some point as a result of the high winds.

Waves crash against the pier in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, during Storm Doris. Photo: Stephen Collins
Waves crash against the pier in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, during Storm Doris. Photo: Stephen Collins

By yesterday evening, some 8,000 of those homes remained without electricity.

More than 1,000 faults were reported by the utility, with areas affected including Sligo, Drogheda, Longford, Cavan, north Dublin and Kilkenny.

"Damage has been caused by high winds causing broken electricity lines and damage to poles and other equipment. Falling timber has also caused considerable damage to the electricity network," an ESB spokesperson said.

The company mobilised crews from areas of the country that were less badly impacted by the storm to help those working in the most affected areas.

ESB spokeswoman Bernadine Maloney told RTÉ's 'Six One' last night that crews had been on standby to deal with the damage caused by high winds.

"The problems peaked at around 6.30am," she said.

People go swimming off Dublin's Bull Wall despite strong winds and rough seas. Photo: PA
People go swimming off Dublin's Bull Wall despite strong winds and rough seas. Photo: PA

"In total we had over 1,000 faults in the system. A lot of the issues were caused by power lines which were down."

Aer Lingus cancelled a dozen flights in total between Ireland and the UK. Heathrow was among the airports forced to issue a warning to passengers that their flight may not be able to depart.

Irish Ferry sailings between Dublin and Holyhead were also cancelled.

There was commuter chaos due to debris and fallen trees on the country's roads.

A 40-tonne truck overturned on the busy M1 during rush hour, but no injuries were reported.

The weather also caused chaos to public transport services with a number of early morning trains and Darts cancelled due to fallen power lines or difficulties closing level crossings.

Workmen clear a fallen tree from the Dark Hedges in County Antrim. Photo: PA
Workmen clear a fallen tree from the Dark Hedges in County Antrim. Photo: PA

All major transport operators reported delays to morning services for commuters.

The storm passed Ireland in the morning, with the last of the weather warnings ending at around noon. It then moved to the UK, where a woman was killed in Wolverhampton city centre. A man in Cornwall was trapped under a tree for an hour and was hospitalised.

Damaged

Snow also hit parts of the UK, with vehicles in Scotland getting stuck in drifts on the M80, athough Ireland avoided such conditions.

The ESB warned anyone who comes across fallen wires or damaged electricity network property to not touch or approach them, as they are live and "extremely dangerous".

It also urged people to report damage to electricity infrastructure by calling 1850 372 999 or (021) 2382410.

While further Atlantic gusts will bring more rain and wind through the weekend and into next week, they are not expected to reach the heights of Doris.

Irish Independent

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