Saturday 20 October 2018

'Stay off the roads': AA Roadwatch issue warning as Storm Ali brings 'severe and damaging' 150km/h gusts

  • 'If you can stay off the roads, do. Don't make unnecessary journeys' - AA Roadwatch
  • Forecasters issued Status Orange wind warning for 17 counties - warning has now expired
  • Storm Ali brought 'severe and possibly damaging gusts' to all areas of the country
  • Top wind speed of 150km/h recorded in Galway
  • ESB Networks say some 126,000 customers are without electricity
  • Disruptions to more than 60 post offices
  • Phoenix Park and Marlay Park in Dublin closed
Motorist had a lucky escape after a tree fell on car Photo: An Garda Siochana
Motorist had a lucky escape after a tree fell on car Photo: An Garda Siochana
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Luke and Niamh Maguire from Kilrush in Co. Clare make their way around in the rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People run for cover in the heavy rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Denise Calnan, Amy Molloy and Ralph Riegel

People were asked to "stay off the road" and "not to make unnecessary journeys" as Storm Ali wreaked havoc nationwide today.

Hundreds of trees were down nationwide, dozens of flights were cancelled and up to 126,000 homes and businesses were without power.

National Ploughing Championships 2018. People run for cover in the heavy rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People run for cover in the heavy rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Dozens of roads and train lines were impassable this morning as the country experienced winds of up to 150 km/h.

Meanwhile, the National Ploughing Championships were cancelled for the day after crews undertook an inspection of the site.

AA Roadwatch's Arwen Foley asked people "not to make unnecessary journeys" as Storm Ali swept through the country.

"If you can stay off the road, do," she told Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One this morning.

"Don't make any unnecessary journeys."

Met Éireann forecasters have now confirmed that "the worst of the storm has passed".

Motorist had a lucky escape after a tree fell on car Photo: An Garda Siochana
Motorist had a lucky escape after a tree fell on car Photo: An Garda Siochana
Damage done to a tent at the Ploughing Championships
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
General view of muck at Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of empty road during delayed opening of Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of empty road during delayed opening of Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of blocked entrance during delayed opening of Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Stewards Richard Sunders and Mark Kennedy make their way throufgh a deserted site as storm Ali arrives . Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Stewards Richard Sunders and Mark Kennedy make their way throufgh a deserted site as storm Ali arrives . Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Luke and Niamh Maguire from Kilrush in Co. Clare make their way around in the rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People run for cover in the heavy rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
A tree down at BusÁras (Photo: Independent.ie)
A tree down on O'Connell Street (Photo: Independent.ie)
A tree collapsed on a house near Fine Gael TD Noel Rock's home this morning (Photo: Noel Rock Twitter)
A tree down on the Kilbeggan to Clara Road in Co Offaly

The Status Orange warning has now expired, while the Status Yellow warning will remain in place nationwide until later today. 

Forecasters advised "extreme caution" in the coastal areas of Clare, Connacht and Donegal this morning.

A tree down on O'Connell Street (Photo: Independent.ie)
A tree down on O'Connell Street (Photo: Independent.ie)

ESB Networks confirmed this morning that up to 186,000 customers are without electricity. Crews are currently working to restore power to homes and businesses.

Damaged power lines caused travel misery for commuters across the county.

With the most damaging gusts from the storm hitting the west coast from Kerry north to Donegal, Cork still found itself hit by powerful gusts which brought down trees, many weakened from Storms Ophelia and Emma.

Trees were reported to have fallen in Blarney, Bandon, Kinsale and Bantry.

A tree down at BusÁras (Photo: Independent.ie)
A tree down at BusÁras (Photo: Independent.ie)

The strongest gusts recorded were at Roche's Point at 104km/h - well below the strongest gusts recorded nationally which was 143km/h at Mace Head in Galway.

Hundreds of homes were left without power in Cork and Kerry due to damaged power lines.

National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney

ESB repair crews are on standby but can only begin work once conditions are safe to do so.

"In the interest of safety the NPA have decided to delay the opening of the exhibition arena of the Ploughing Championships for the public until 11am and remain open an extra hour in the evening until 7pm. National Ploughing classes will begin as scheduled at 10.30am," it said.

The Police Service in Northern Ireland have warned the public that today's weather is likely to cause:

  • Flying debris
  • Tiles falling from roofs, falling trees and branches
  • Longer journey times & cancellations
  • Power cuts with potential to affect other services
  • Dangers from large waves and beach material

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was due to attend at 9.30am before travelling to Salzburg, Austria, for a summit of EU heads of state but due to the delay he will not be able to attend.

The latest bad weather comes after those attending yesterday had to brave a washout during the afternoon.

The winds have the potential to blow off roofs and cause other structural damage, Met Éireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe explained. Bridges over roads and rivers and other open spaces will be particularly at risk of wind funnelling.

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