Flooding and power cuts as coastal areas battered by rain and winds
Flights diverted or cancelled and more than 7,000 phone lines hit in gusts up to 150km/h
Met Éireann yesterday issued its most serious weather warning – code red – for six counties, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Waterford and Wexford, and a severe weather warning for the rest of the country. Photograph: Eric Luke
As storm-force winds lashed the west coast of Ireland last night spot flooding was reported in a number of coastal counties and power cuts were experienced across 11 counties.
Flights to and from Shannon airport were diverted or cancelled, more than 7,000 phone lines were affected and fallen trees were causing severe driving hazards as winds in some areas gusted up to 150km/h.
Cork University Hospital was forced to close its main entrance as a precautionary measure after strong winds blew down a section of cladding at the front of the building.
Conditions deteriorated through the night, but racing on the second day of the Leopardstown festival will go ahead as scheduled. Officials at the Dublin circuit were on red alert after a forecast for stormy conditions heading into this morning. And while another 14 millimetres of rainfall has turned the ground soft, the high-class card has been given the go-ahead
Aer Arann, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service, was forced to divert to Cork a flight last night from Birmingham to Shannon, with passengers travelling onward by bus. The Shannon to Manchester and return flights were also cancelled, while the Dublin to Kerry service last night was cancelled with no return flight this morning to the capital.
Stena Line has cancelled its 13.30 sailing from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead. Irish Ferries cancelled all its Swift sailings today along with two of its Cruise sailings.
Flights from and to Donegal airport were cancelled last night and again for this morning as a lightning strike caused damage to essential equipment. A Ryanair flight to Shannon from Stansted was diverted to Dublin. Aer Lingus flights from Shannon to Heathrow were also cancelled.
Last night Eircom reported 7,300 customers affected by faulty lines.
About 4,000 customers in Northern Ireland have been left without electricity after severe gales overnight. Trees fell across powerlines and electricity poles were broken and the Met Office weather warning for high winds and heavy rain remains in place until 7pm this evening, a Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) statement said. Emergency crews and engineers are assessing the damage caused and carry out repairs.