Wednesday 26 July 2017

Storm Doris: Thousands may be without power overnight as extreme winds and rain batter Ireland

  • Still 37,000 with no electricity as efforts to restore power underway
  • Dozens of roads affected by fallen trees and debris
  • Number of flights from Ireland to UK cancelled
  • Woman killed in storm-related incident in UK

Fallen tree damages car in Stamullin Co Meath
Fallen tree damages car in Stamullin Co Meath
A Damages Thatch roof of The Huntsman Inn Gormanston Co Meath
A fallen tree damages car in Stamullin Co Meath
Tree Down Malahide near Malahide Castle
Tree Down Malahide near Malahide Castle
Tree Down Malahide near Malahide Castle
Tree Down Malahide near Malahide Castle
Walkers watch the big waves this month in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

There are still 37,000 customers without power across the country following strong winds brought on by Storm Doris, with fears power may not be restored until tomorrow.

ESB crews are working to restore power to those affected but it is unclear when service will be restored for many of those impacted.

More than 900 faults are being reported by the utility. The areas currently affected include 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.

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"ESB Networks have mobilised crews who are currently working as well as possible in very difficult conditions to restore power as quickly as possible to affected customers, once it is safe to do so. Crews based in areas of the country less impacted by the storm are en route to assist colleagues in the most affected areas," according to the ESB.

"Unfortunately, due to the severity of the damage caused by the storm and the extensive repair work required in some areas some customers may be without power for longer periods throughout the day and possibly overnight."

Earlier 56,000 people were left with no electricity.

Anyone without power has been asked to check powercheck.ie and if their area is not listed to contact the ESB and let them know.

ESB spokeswoman Bernadine Maloney told RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland that crews were working overnight.

"We have had crews out last night and early this morning restoring power." she said.

"It'll be well into the day until we have everything assessed and power restored.

"The worst-affected areas are the north of Dublin and in the north-west of the country.

"It's pretty widespread," she continued.

"I wouldn't be able to give you a time that power will be restored at this point.

"We are advising people to keep an eye on powercheck.ie for the latest updates."

Ms Maloney warned people not to approach power lines on the ground as they are likely to be live.

"This is a safety message," she said.

"There may be power lines down. These are live and shouldn't be approached.

"Never approach lines on the ground."

The storm passed Ireland in the morning, with the last of the weather warnings ending at noon. However, the UK is now receiving the brunt of the bad weather. Sources said a woman has been killed today in Wolverhampton city centre in a Storm Doris-related incident.

Aftermath

In Northern Ireland around 8,000 homes are also without power due to the storm.

Gale-force winds, which reached speeds of up to 87mph on the west coast, caused commuter chaos this morning 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 as a result.

A major clean-up operation is underway to clear roads and AA Roadwatch is providing regular updates. People are advised to check for the latest information before departing.

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

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

Meanwhile, air passengers have also been affected with more than ten flights from Ireland to the UK cancelled this morning.

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

Anyone planning to travel today is advised to check with their airline.

Meanwhile, in the UK Storm Doris has been dubbed a 'weather bomb' despite earlier predictions that it would not constitute a weather bom.

The Met office has issued a dozen amber warnings and the country has also been hit by travel chaos.

Snow has also hit part of the UK, with vehicles in Scotland getting stuck in the snow on the M80.

Storm Doris is expected to move on from Ireland quickly, with the worst of the weather gone by this evening.

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.

Met Éireann forecaster Jean Byrne said thankfully Ireland looks set to avoid the strongest wind from Storm Doris.

"There will be a risk of some possible damage along the south and west coasts," she said.

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