Power restored to all electricity customers following Storm Lorenzo, says ESB

Storm lingered in Atlantic longer than expected and lost energy, Met Éireann says

Parts of Donegal town are underwater this morning as the storm dumped up to 50mm of rainfall on the region. Photograph: Donegal Daily.

Parts of Donegal town are underwater this morning as the storm dumped up to 50mm of rainfall on the region. Photograph: Donegal Daily.

 

Power has been fully restored to 20,000 customers who lost power during Storm Lorenzo, ESB Networks has said.

The company, which maintains the country’s electricity supply infrastructure said on Friday evening that all of the homes, farms and businesses impacted by Thursday’s storm, were now back on the grid.

“Our crews restored power to more than 12,000 customers overnight and were dispatched to the affected areas at first light, making the electricity network safe, assessing the damage, and restoring power as quickly and effectively as possible,” the company said.

However, it asked the public to remain vigilant of fallen trees and fallen power lines.

Lahinch, Co Clare, as storm Lorenzo made landfall overnight. Photograph: PA
Lahinch, Co Clare, as Storm Lorenzo made landfall overnight. Photograph: PA

Earlier on Friday, the Government’s National Emergency Co-operation Group (NECG) said the storm had done “very little damage” to property.

At a meeting of the group, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy admitted the storm was an “evolving and unique weather event that made predictions very difficult” and the authorities operated on the basis that it was “potentially a very significant event that threatened public safety”.

He also dismissed any suggestion that warnings over Storm Lorenzo were wide of the mark. “We have to plan based on those forecasted warnings,” he told RTÉ.

“And we were lucky in this instance that Lorenzo didn’t hit with the ferocity that had been anticipated. But had it hit with that ferocity, had we not been prepared, we would be looking at a very different picture today.”

Met Éireann forecaster Joanna Donnelly said the storm lingered in the Atlantic longer than expected and lost much of its energy by the time it made landfall.

Wind speeds, as a result, peaked at 107km/h in gusts off Mace Head in Co Galway, lower than the anticipated wind speed of 130km/h.

In a statement the NECG said the public had heeded the warnings about the storm. “Thankfully, there were no major reported incidents or injuries to members of the public or the emergency services.”

The group said high sea surges were experienced along the Atlantic coast resulting in “limited” coastal flooding.

‘Broader context’

Met Éireann defended its forecast stating that it had been in daily contact with the National Hurricane Centre in the US and their colleagues in the UK Met Office, to reach a consensus on the probability of the impact on Ireland.

The storm was also assessed in the “broader context” of prolonged heavy rainfall, associated soil saturation, rivers at just below bank full and trees still in leaf, the NECG statement added.

Local authorities had taken preventative actions to mitigate the impact of the storm, including the installation of temporary flood defences, making and dispensing sandbags, public information campaigns, clearing gullies and clearing other contributors to flooding.

“All necessary mitigating actions such as road and beach closures in coastal areas were implemented,” it said.

Waves crash agains the sea wall in Lahinch as thousands of homes and businesses have been left without power. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Waves crash agains the sea wall in Lahinch. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Though the impact was not what was feared, homes and businesses were still flooded and more than 4,000 are without power after it brought powerful winds and storm surges along coastal areas.

Parts of Donegal town were flooded as the storm dumped up to 50mm of rainfall on the south Donegal region on Friday morning. And emergency services are bracing for more flooding when the River Eske reaches high tide.

Donegal town

The local fire service in Donegal town was dispatched to the scene early on Friday along with Donegal Civil Defence.

New Row, the Old Laghey Road, Brookfield Manor and Clarendon Drive were all badly affected by the floods, with some roads blocked.

There was substantial flooding in Bundoran, Frosses and Laghey.

Donegal County Council staff were deployed to the area to give out sandbags and deal with affected roads.

A yellow wind warning was in place for counties Longford, Westmeath, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Offaly, Kildare and Clare from 7am to 1pm on Friday.

Status yellow marine warnings remain in place with winds of up to gale force 6 possible from Loop Head to Malin Head to Howth Head.

Met Éireann said the strongest winds continued to be along the west coast. The winds will be light in the north and from an easterly direction.

All train services and flights appear to be operating as normal.

Bus Éireann said all of its services were operating as normal, apart from diversions to the 401 and 402 Galway routes.

Mayo County Council said Storm Lorenzo had not caused any “significant damage” across the county.

However, the council said crews were dealing with “incidents of trees down, strewn branches and debris which have been reported in various locations around the county”.

Though the storm was relatively short-lived, it will trail more wind and rain in its wake with a further 25mm of rain expected on Saturday and the same amount nationwide on Monday.