Commuters affected as high winds hit rail and roads

Two weather warnings in place as gale force winds gust at 115km/h: flights, ferry sailings cancelled

Met Éireann has issued a status orange wind warning for Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo as strong gale force winds hit gusts of 120km/h overnight. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Met Éireann has issued a status orange wind warning for Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo as strong gale force winds hit gusts of 120km/h overnight. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

Many commuters experienced major delays this morning with rail and road users affected by the high winds caused by the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo which struck Ireland overnight. 

Winds of 115km/h were experienced in Donegal earlier this morning while north Connact and Leinster are also experiencing extremely windy conditions with gusts of 90km/h to 110km/h.

Motorists are being warned that there is debris on many routes and drivers of high-sided vehicles have been urged to take extra care on exposed stretches of road. Motorists are advised to excercise caution with fallen trees and other debris reported on some roads  while there have also been reports of wheelie bins being blown onto roads causing hazards. 

Rail users are continuing to face delays although services have now resumed between Malahide and Clongriffin after Iarnród Eireann workers cleared a tree which had fallen onto the overhead power lines at Portmarnock. 

A number of flights between Dublin and London and four ferry sailings have been cancelled today.

Aer Lingus cancelled four flights to and from Heathrow after the London airport requested all airlines to reduce their flight schedules by 10 per cent. A spokeswoman said affected passengers were informed of the cancellations yesterday and have been accommodated on alternative flights. 
 
Irish Ferries cancelled the 8.45am Dublin Swift sailing from Dublin to Holyhead and the return journey, the 11:50am service from Holyhead to Dublin has also been cancelled.

The ferry operator has also cancelled the 2.30pm Dublin Swift sailing between Dublin to Holyhead and also the 5.15pm Holyhead to Dublin swift sailing. A number of other sailings are subject to delays.

The ESB said around 6,000 homes and businesses had experienced power outages in the northwest due to three major faults in Donegal and Leitrim. A spokeswomen said crews were working on restoring power in these areas and that all three faults were expected to be repaired before lunchtime.

Pat Clarke, meteorologist with Met Éirean said gusts of up to 115 km/h had been experienced overnight with the worst conditions in Donegal, other parts of Ulster and north Connacht. 
 
Winds remain strong in places this morning with gusts of up to 90km/hr with blustery conditions in Ulster, north Connacht and Leinster expected to moderate as the day goes on. 
 
Squally showers , some heavy and thundery for a time, will die out as the day goes on and winds will slowly ease. 
 
In Britain Heathrow staff said 10 per cent of flights with the 20 biggest carriers into and out of the London airport will be cancelled, as the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo arrive in the UK.
 
Hurricane Gonzalo last week caused widespread damage and a power blackout when it hit Bermuda.

The Bermuda weather service had warned residents not to go outside when the storm’s calm eye moved in, but some ventured out anyway to do quick damage assessments, noting that porches were destroyed and power lines were downed.

The storm’s centre crossed over Bermuda late on Friday and Gonzalo quickly moved northward over the Atlantic.

Additional reporting PA