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Friday 15 November 2019

Power cut to 60,000 homes as Callum hits

Storm causes flooding and cancelled flights

Big splash: A jogger is caught by the spray on Salthill promenade, Co Galway, during Storm Callum yesterday. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Big splash: A jogger is caught by the spray on Salthill promenade, Co Galway, during Storm Callum yesterday. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Some 60,000 homes lost power as Storm Callum hit Ireland - and more wet weather is on the horizon for the weekend.

But despite a Status Orange warning for 13 counties, the worst of the storm passed through overnight.

Gusts of 124kmh were recorded in Belmullet, Co Mayo, yesterday morning, while there was a minor mudslide in Cork, and isolated flooding in other parts of the country.

More than two dozen flights were also cancelled at Dublin Airport due to the winds.

There were also a number of road closures due to fallen trees and debris.

The orange alert had warned the public of a possible risk to life and property due to the high winds, in what was Ireland's third storm of the season.

Out for a stroll: Desie Nuc Quinn (3) enjoys a paddle in the street in Kinvara, Co Galway, yesterday. Photo: Xposure
Out for a stroll: Desie Nuc Quinn (3) enjoys a paddle in the street in Kinvara, Co Galway, yesterday. Photo: Xposure

Met Éireann said the status was "deemed appropriate" for the level of storm.

The ESB said that a peak of around 60,000 homes, farms and businesses were without power at around 4am yesterday, which was reduced to 30,000 by 7am.

Counties most affected by the electricity outages were Kerry, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mayo and Monaghan.

Most of these issues had been addressed by last night, with the ESB only expecting "isolated pockets" to still have an outage.

Around 5,000 homes were without power by yesterday evening.

However, the ESB has warned the public to remain vigilant regarding fallen wires and to contact their network if they notice any.

Most counties, anticipating treacherous conditions, had put preventative and precautionary plans in place from early this week.

In Galway, an 80-metre portable dam was temporarily located at the Spanish Arch, and despite fears of high tide at 8am, the dam ensured there were no issues.

The National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) met yesterday morning and said there was "minimal disruption", with the worst of the storm affecting the west coast.

"Thanks to preparations by all agencies involved, coastal areas were protected from certain flooding," the NECG said.

"Galway in particular was protected by the aqua dam put in place."

They said there was some disruption to transport infrastructure, such as train lines, but this was resolved by yesterday afternoon, and the NECG was stood down.

Met Éireann expects scattered showers of heavy rain to fall today, with forecaster John Eagleton saying the south east will be hit the worst.

He said that while it will be unpredictable, the day will split into three - with rain in the morning, mainly dry conditions in the afternoon, and further rain in the evening which will pass out across the west coast to allow for fresher conditions tomorrow.

Temperatures for this weekend will be between 11C and 12C.

"Sunday is a better day and Monday too," he said.

"It'll be bright both days but it looks like there's more rain to follow [into the middle of next week]."

The forecaster said a wetter season is upon us, but he doesn't expect there to be too much rain in the immediate future, with dry conditions anticipated later on into next week.

Callum is the third named storm of the season.

The other two storms were Ali and Bronagh - both in September.

Irish Independent

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