Winds ‘reach hurricane force’ at Galway harbour

Persistent bad weather hampers efforts to clear up after severe storms

The sea churns under the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head as a walker takes to the beach on Sandymount yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The sea churns under the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head as a walker takes to the beach on Sandymount yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sat, Dec 28, 2013, 01:00


Mop-up efforts after the devastation caused by storm-force and even hurricane-force winds and heavy rain were hampered yesterday by continuing poor weather.

The worst is over but it will remain cold and showery over the weekend.

The wind lashing the south and west coasts reached Category 1 hurricane status in Galway harbour early yesterday, according to Galway harbourmaster Captain Brian Sheridan.

Tragedy was averted when the RNLI Galway lifeboat rescued a woman who was swept off a quay wall at the harbour. At their peak, winds of 73 knots or 135km per hour hit the docks.

A roof was blown off a primary school classroom in Tralee and part of the roof blew off at Coláiste Cois Life in Lucan.

Trees blocked roads, disrupting travel, and farmland was extensively flooded.

ESB Networks said 4,900 homes would remain without power overnight last night, 1,850 in the southwest, including Kerry, Limerick and Clare. About 280 customers were without power last night in Arklow and Enniscorthy and another 180 homes were without electricity in north Dublin,Mullingar, Drogheda and Dundalk.

Eircom said more than 2,000 new faults were reported yesterday with approximately 8,200 phone lines remaining down last night.

Flights, ferries and train timetables were disrupted but most are expected to return to normal at the weekend. Sixteen Aer Lingus flights were cancelled from Dublin Airport yesterday while Ryanair had 20. A number of transatlantic flights were diverted to the UK.