Thursday 23 January 2020

Storm Atiyah aftermath: Around 7,000 without power, roads closed and fallen trees after gusts over 130kmh hit Ireland

  • Around 7,000 ESB customers without power
  • Roads closed with reports of fallen trees and other debris
  • Flights cancelled at Kerry Airport, Cork Airport and Shannon Airport
Surf’s up: Cars drive through surf froth at Spanish Point in Co Clare. Photo: Press 22
Surf’s up: Cars drive through surf froth at Spanish Point in Co Clare. Photo: Press 22

Aoife Walsh and Ian Begley

Motorists are being urged to travel with great caution after "extremely dangerous" gusts in excess of 130kmh swept across the country.

The ferocious winds of Storm Atiyah whipped across Ireland last night, bringing disruption and hazardous conditions to thousands of people, particularly those affected by the Status Red Warning in Co Kerry.

This warning was lifted by Met Éireann at 7pm last night, and the orange and yellow warnings for the rest of the country were removed at 6am this morning.

However, Met Éireann confirmed it would be continuing to monitor the storm situation. And while the worst of Atiyah is now over, AA Roadwatch said that roads throughout the county would remain treacherous for some time.

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"The day after a storm like this, you can expect a lot of fallen debris, particularly around secondary and local roads," said Kieran Hanley of AA Roadwatch.

"Our advice would be to be drive with caution, no matter what part of the country you're in. Make sure to reduce your speed, leave extra space to brake and watch out for wind-blown debris on the roads."

AA Roadwatch has advised motorists to be wary of debris that fell on the roads during the storm last night.

They have noted a number of roads have been closed in Kerry, Sligo, Wicklow, Kilkenny, and Roscommon.

The Listowel/Athea Road in Co Kerry is currently closed between the turn-offs for Abbeyfeale and Moyvane due to a fallen tree.

"There’s wind-blown debris on the roads in a number of areas this morning following Storm Atiyah overnight. Take extra caution, especially on secondary routes, and give extra space to other road users," an AA Roadwatch spokesperson said this morning.

ESB has said that thousands of customers are without power across the country as a result of the storm, with those in Cork and Kerry among the worst affected.

"7,000 power outages have been noted from 6:30am this morning, and ESB crews will be working to restore power throughout the day," an ESB spokesperson said. 

At least six vehicles were involved in two separate incidents on the M1 during a sudden hailstorm yesterday morning. The two incidents took place on either side of the motorway and just across from each other - close to junction 12 for Dunleer and Collon.

Gardaí confirmed that fortunately no one involved in the incidents has suffered serious injuries. A number of flights at Kerry Airport, Cork Airport and Shannon Airport were cancelled because of severe weather warnings.

Meanwhile, thousands of homes throughout the country were left without power. In Galway, an outage affected more than 1,800 customers in Athenry, and some 150 customers in the Bantry area in west Cork were left without electricity.

Other ESB outages have been reported in Gurranebane and Dingle in Kerry.

Many national parks across Ireland were closed for the day because of the storm yesterday and Dublin Zoo cancelled its Wild Lights event last night.

Today will be mainly dry with sunshine developing, apart from in the north-west which will get patchy rain.

Tuesday will be windy with heavy rain initially.

Irish Independent

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