Regional round-up: west coast worst affected by Storm Rachel
Flooding, school closures and power outages as status red warning remains in place
Waves crash against the Kerry coast in Dingle. Photograph: Gerald Horgan
Glenwood Estate in Letterkenny experienced flooding overnight. Photograph: Stephen Maguire
Violent south-westerly winds battered towns and cities across the State throughout the night, with reports of fallen trees, spot flooding and structural damage in some areas.
Some 800 homes on the rim of Galway bay extending from Kinvara in the south to Roundstone in the north have lost power, as the storm continues. Ferry and air services to the Aran islands have been cancelled, and ferry links to other islands are also suspended with sea swells of up to 14 metres.
Many primary schools have opted to close completely in both city and county areas, along with secondary schools in Kinvara, Oughterard and Headford, while several Galway city secondary schools have opted to open after midday.
Wind speeds of 80 km/h gusted to up to 120 km/h during the night, with 84 km/h south-westerlies recorded at Mace Head on the Connemara coast this morning, but the gales are expected to veer to the north-west by this afternoon.
Galway City Council crews cleared some flooding on Merchant’s road near the docks last night.
350 ESB customers in Cork remain without power down from a high of 1,600 earlier today.
220 people are without electricity in Goleen, Beara and Durrus with fifty customers losing power in Ballingeary and Dunmanway in West Cork.
Customers are also without electricity in isolated pockets in Glanmire and Riverstown in Cork. A thunder and lightning warning remains in place in Cork until 4pm today.
Earlier this morning householders in the Well Road and Centre Park Road area of the city had their power reconnected after losing it overnight.
The AA has received reports of flooding between Ballyvarry and Foxford on the N58, on the Killala road in Ballycastle, on the N60 between Claremorris and Castlebar, and in and around Castlebar.
Local authorities are warning people to avoid any unnecessary travel and to stay away from exposed coastal areas and waterways during the stormy conditions, which are expected to continue throughout today, easing later this evening.
Some 800 homes are out of power in Kerry this morning, but the county, which is under a status red weather warning, escaped the worst of predictions. All schools are closed this morning.
Snow fell on higher ground and Kerry County Council is warning motorists of icy patches as well as debris on roads.
Trees are also down and there has been localized flooding . The worst of the outages are in the south Kerry Renard and Cahersiveen areas, while areas in Listowel in the north .
Road temperatures have fallen, and there may be icy patches on some roads, especially those in higher areas and local roads. Some priority routes may not have been treated due to the high winds last night, so motorists are advised to drive with extreme care.
The county’s inter-agency team, consisting of representatives from the HSE, Garda Siochana and Kerry County Council met this morning.
A spokesman defended the decision by the interagency team to ask all schools to shut down and denied it was an over-reaction. It was better to err on the side of caution, the spokesman said.
Limerick City and County Council says no significant incidents have been reported overnight as a result of Storm Rachel.
All national routes have been gritted. No emergency calls were received overnight.
Most schools in the region are closed today after Met Éireann issued a status red wind warning for Limerick with gusts of 150 km/h predicted.
The worst of the storm is expected to hit later this morning.
Up to 12,000 homes across the county are without power: about 7,000 in Glenties, 2,700 in Derrybeg and 1,800 in Creeslough. Parts of Letterkenny experienced flooding overnight.
Clare County Council say there were no sigificant incidents arising from the stormy weather.
The Emergency Helpline, which was established on Wednesday in response to Met Éireann’s red status wind alert, was discontinued.
The helpline received 13 calls between 8pm Wednesday and 8am Thursday.
For live updates on power faults and repairs as they happen in all regions, click here.