Power restored to 30,000 homes as new warning issued

Met Eireann issues new 'status orange' weather warning as power is restored to thousands of properties that lost supply in recent days

A man looks on as big waves crash against a break-water pier during a storm in Esquibien in Brittany region of France. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA.

A man looks on as big waves crash against a break-water pier during a storm in Esquibien in Brittany region of France. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA.

 

Electricity has been restored to thousands of homes in the west after lightning and high winds damaged lines. ESB crews worked into the night to repair the damage caused by yesterday's storms.

Met Éireann has issued a new weather warning. The 'status orange' warning comes into effect tomorrow evening at 5pm and will remain in place until  Friday, December 27th, at 3pm.

It is expected to becoming very windy or stormy again during the evening of St. Stephen's Day, continuing overnight and for much of Friday.

While an estimated 30,000 homes and businesses have had power restored a small number of customers in Mayo are still without electricity. Affected areas included Donegal, Cork and Clare.

A large transformer was irreparably damaged by a lightning strike on Achill Island forcing the ESB to rearrange its networks in the area. An additional fault on low level transformers left a number of customers without power, the company said this morning. ESB repair crews were due to continue repair work at first light this morning. Customers in Achill have been asked to minimise their use of electricity as the supply is only currently available on a contingency basis.

Thundery showers that affected southern coastal counties and accompanying high winds have temporarily abated and Met Éireann says most places will remain dry today with sunny intervals. Showers will affect coastal areas in the west and south-west. Winds will be lighter and temperatures will reach highs of 4-7 degrees.

However, the new 'status orange' weather warning signals an imminent return of stormy weather. Southeast winds, becoming southwest during tomorrow evening, will increase to 55-75 km/h, with gusts of 90 to 120 km/h, and up to 130 km/hr in some coastal areas, leading to further disruption and possible damage.

Motorists have been warned to take care today as ice and frost has been reported in parts. Areas worst hit include Portlaoise, Co Laois, Sligo Town, Cavan Town, Thurles, Co Tipperary and Mullingar.  Extra care is needed in these areas when driving with many roads recording temperatures below zero.

For those planning a Christmas Day dip, Irish Water Safety has warned  swimmers of the danger posed by “cold shock”. “Cold winter waters can cause ‘cold shock’ and hypothermia can set in within minutes, overwhelming the fittest of swimmers,” it said. “If sea conditions deteriorate, then the charity swim should be cancelled.”

It warned that many participants will not have swum since the summer and the temperature of the water has now dropped considerably. “It is a fallacy that alcohol will keep you warm when entering the water. In fact, it has the reverse effect and could kill you,” it said

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