Dramatic footage of an RNLI rescue in Galway during stormy conditions today has been revealed.
Clifden RNLI were called out to rescue four men after they got into difficulty in extreme weather conditions this afternoon.
The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat at approximately 1.44pm today.
Four fish farmers were stranded at the mouth of Clifden Bay.
The men, who were working in the bay, called for help as the weather conditions deteriorated quickly.
The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo was also called to assist.
During the rescue, three of the men were removed from the 16 foot boat and one was removed from the large fish cage.
“This was a challenging call out given the gusty weather conditions the lifeboat crew was presented with today,” Saul Joyce, Clifden RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said after the call-out.
“The four casualties who are experienced fish farmers were working when the stormy conditions took over and they made the right decision to call for help. The crew used their skill and training to good effect and we are delighted to have brought all four safely back to shore.”
In Dublin this evening, residents of the Waterway Apartments in Ashtown Dublin have been evacuated due to structural damage caused to the building by the storm.
The Ashtown Road has been closed and motorists are advised to use Rover Road. Gardai and Emergency Services are at the scene
Meanwhile, further footage shows the terrifying moment a roof is torn off a building in Limerick City as Storm Darwin continues to batter the country.
The video shows the moment an onlooker filmed a roof being ripped off a building on the opposite side of the river.
Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick experienced violent gusts of up to 160km/hr today.
A StatusYellow warning has now been updated for Leinster, Munster and Connacht as the storm abates.
Kilkenny City and Country Council declared a Major Emergency Plan during the worst of the storms today.
There were no specific reports received of any injuries but Gardai appealed to the public in Kilkenny to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel where possible.
They also advised motorists to reduce their speed on the roads this evening.
Irish Water Safety have warned the public to stay away from the edges of waterways as they will be more dangerous due to heavy rain, strong gale force winds and high tides.
“Fast rising flood water is very powerful and often hides the dangers of exposed drains, exposed manhole covers and submerged objects,” they said this evening.
“No driver or pedestrian should take a chance passing through flooded roadways. Parents should caution children that small flooded streams are very fast and that floodwater hides true water depths.”
Thankfully, there gave been no serious injuries reported today.
Met Éireann has issued a status orange warning counties Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal, with severe gusts of up to 130km/h forecast.
Meanwhile, a family had a lucky escape in Portlaoise after a huge tree fell on top of their car.
Colette Brennan, her mother and three of her children, including a baby of just fourteen weeks, were in the car when the tree crashed down on top of their vehicle at around 4.30pm near the Portlaoise Hospital.
“I’m just in shock. It was so surreal, the size of the tree. At least we’re alive though that’s the main thing,” she told the Leinster Express.
Ms Brennan said the tree swept her car to one side and her family were saved.
“It was hard to describe. It was like the weight of the tree almost swept the car to one side and that’s what saved our live,” she said.
An Aer Lingus Regional commuter plane rests on it's left wingtip after being lifted off the ground in 150kmh winds at Shannon Airport. Pic: Press 22
All trains to Cork, Kerry and Limerick from Heuston Station have been suspended due to the weather.
Trains between Limerick and Athenry have also been cancelled.
A spokesman for Irish Rail said there are delays on other lines due to the number of fallen trees.
Services are currently suspended between Arklow and Gorey due to fallen trees on the line.
Irish Rail says DARTs are suspended between Dalkey and Bray due to damage to overhead power lines caused by a fallen tree at Shankill
Operations have also resumed at Shannon Airport.
An Post have reported their mail services to be severely affected by the weather.
For a full list of Dublin road closures, see below:
-ESB cable down on Rathgar Avenue
-Tree down blocking road on Lower Dodder Rd/Orwell Rd
-Tree fallen on Ballinclea Rd
-Tree down at Kevin St/ Patrick St
-Several trees have fallen down on Shelerin Rd Clonsill D15
-Trees down on the Moyne Rd, Baldonnel between Fingal Cemetery and Campion's Public House.
-Tree down on the Coast Rd also wire down.
-Annavill Rd Closed due to falling slates
-Tree down at Jct of Rathbeale Rd and Ballyboughal Rd
-Clonshaugh Rd closed for the night
Part of a wall collapses on a parked car in Limerick. (Photo: Twitter/Cillian Flynn)
Almost 260,000 customers are now without electricity across the country as hurricane force wind and storms across the country have still yet to reach their peak.
The ESB have reported the power outages to be the worst since 1998.
According to an ESB spokesperson, a standby network is now being used to restore supply to the affected stations as quickly as possible.
“Severe storms in the south west have damaged power lines to many homes across the country,” according to an ESB spokersperson.
The worst affected areas are Cork and Kerry (Leebridge, Roscarbery, Skibbereen, Rathcoole, Killorglin, Timoleague, Clonakilty, Kinsale, Bandon and Macroom) Also Ennistymon in Clare is without supply.
A number of ESB crews are attending scenes nationwide, attempting to mend the damage, but Storm Darwin is having a negative impact on these efforts.
“We have restored power to thousands of homes already today but one of the key issues crews are facing is, naturally, the ongoing adverse weather conditions,” the ESB spokesperson told independent.ie
“The gale-force winds are hampering restoration efforts – and the safety of the crews are paramount.”
Customers can check ESB Network Powercheck app, esbpowercheck.ie, or call on 1850 372 999 to see if their outage has been identified and logged. In addition ESB Networks has asked that customers listen to their radios for regular updates.
"We will continually assess the scale of the damage during the day and every effort will be made to restore supply to customers as quickly as possible. However, there is a risk that some homes and businesses may unfortunately be without power over night."
ESB recently tweeted; "We have severe damage in #Enniscorthy #Blackwater area"
A van is crushed by a tree on the outskirts of Limerick city the Knocklisaheen Road on way to Meelick. Credit: Andrew Carey
In Limerick, part of a building on Sarsfield Street collapsed and the street was closed.
The roof of the Shannon Rowing Club on Honan’s Quay also collapsed as the River Shannon threatened flooding parts of the city again.
Gardai are now advising the public to stay indoors.
Truck blown over in Kerry. (Photo via Twitter/ Deric Hartigan)
Conditions were expected to ease from 2pm, with Storm Darwin clearing Ireland and heading for Britain.
But Shannon Airport was forced to close down temporarily, while almost 260,000 homes were left without power.
Two separate missing person searches, one in Cork city and one in west Cork, have been suspended amid safety concerns.
Met Eireann urged people to stay away from coastal areas and waterways.
It is genuinely dangerous out there, Conor Faughnan of AA Roadwatch told RTE Radio 1 this afternoon.
“It is not just generally hazaradous, we’d advise people to stay indoors if at all possible in this stormy weather.”
“There is plenty of spot flooding nationwide despite reports that the rain is easing. There have been lots of breakdown call-outs – and we’d advise people not to drive as you could well do serious damage to your engine,” he warned.
“We are starting to get reports in from Wexford and Wicklow and are expecting the situation to worsen in these areas as the day continues. However, the worst hit is definitely Munster – in Co Cork and Co Kerry – from where we have received a barrage of calls.”
A tree is uprooted in Limerick (Photo: Helen Enright)
AA Roadwatch reported an 'unprecedented amount' of fallen trees on roads nationwide.
There were also reports of several trucks overturning as a result of the high winds. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries reported.
Members of the public are advised to avoid fallen lines until the ESB can deal with them.
A tree is uprooted in Limerick (Photo: Helen Enright)
There have also been reports of a small tornado in Athleague in Co. Roscommon.
Met Eireann has not received reports or pictures but said it is very likely that tiny tornados called 'squalls' could appear today.
''We wouldn't be surprised with the strong winds and thunder showers that it definitely could produce squalls,'' forecaster Johanna Donnelly said.
A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed which is usually associated with active weather, such as rain showers, thunderstorms, or heavy snow.
''On a usual day we would dismiss claims of a squall but on a day like this, it's certainly something we wouldn't dismiss,'' she said.
The forecaster said the tornado would have to happen near an automatic weather station for Met Eireann to detect it.
The small tornado was reported on Today With Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio 1.
Meanwhile, children in a national school have had a narrow escape after the roof was blown off a prefab classroom.
Storm force gales gusting at 160km per hour blew the roof off the building at Listellick National School near Abbeydorney in Co Kerry.
Nobody was injured but the children were very frightened by the experience.
They were escorted by staff to the main school building.
Emergency services in the southwest have been stretched to the limits dealing with the storm.
Wind and snow alerts are in place for counties across the country with the Irish Coastguard urging people to avoid exposed coastal parts of the west and south-west with fears wind gusts could reach violent levels.
Another storm is predicted to hit the country on Friday.
The scale of the storm damage since December 26 is so severe that one council alone, Clare County Council, said its repair bill could exceed €35m.
Seventy coastal sites from Galway to Waterford are reporting major storm damage with related flooding closing the Limerick-Ennis rail line and the R487 Kilbaha Road on Loop Head.
Heavy rainfall – and the prediction of further heavy rain to come – has also left councils monitoring rivers on an hourly basis in Cork, Waterford, Carlow, Tipperary, Limerick, Clare, Westmeath and Wexford.
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