Storm Gertrude winds leave thousands without power

Friday 29 January 2016 22.40
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Strong winds hit power supplies across the country
Strong winds hit power supplies across the country
A fallen tree this morning blocked the Enniskerry to Kiltiernan road
A fallen tree this morning blocked the Enniskerry to Kiltiernan road

Just over 2,000 homes and businesses across Ireland were left without power after heavy winds battered parts of the country overnight and this morning.

ESB customers in counties along the northwestern seaboard from Donegal to Sligo and west Mayo were left without power.

Pockets of disruption also affected Cavan and Roscommon. ESB said it hopes that power will be restored at all sites by 9pm.

Road travel was also disrupted by fallen trees and debris while there was disruption to air and sea routes. 

Aer Lingus Regional cancelled 16 flights in and out of Dublin, Cork and Kerry due to the bad weather. 

Irish Ferries, meanwhile, cancelled today's 8.45am and 2.30pm Swift craft sailings from Dublin to Holyhead. All passengers affected will be accommodated on other ferries. 

ESB spokeswoman Bernardine Maloney told RTÉ's Today with Keelin Shanley that it would be late into the evening before power was restored in all areas.

In Northern Ireland, about 5,000 customers were left without power.

The Atlantic storm system brought winds gusting up to 130km/h.

ESB Networks was posting updates on outages on powercheck.ie as reports of damage continued to come in.

Two bridges in the north west - the Blaney and Foyle in Donegal and Derry - were closed due to the high winds.

AA Roadwatch carried a series of reports of trees down on roads across the country.

NIE Networks said it had reports of trees down across power lines and broken electricity poles.

While the worst of the near-hurricane force winds eased, forecasters warned of persistent severe gusts and heavy rain.

NIE Networks said the worst-hit areas in Northern Ireland were in Tyrone, Derry and Antrim.

Julia Carson, NIE Networks communications manager, said: "We have been in regular contact with the Met Office and had mobilised NIE Networks emergency crews, engineers and call handlers in preparation for any damage the severe weather may cause.

"We have already restored power to 7,500 customers overnight and are continuing to assess the damage and carry out repairs." 

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