Storm Hector: 5,000 premises remain without power

Storm resulted in the strongest gusts ever recorded in Northern Ireland in June

Some 5,000 homes, farms and businesses are still without power this evening following Storm Hector.

The storm made landfall in the early hours of Thursday morning, bringing down trees, which in turn brought down power lines. The storm also resulted in the strongest gusts ever recorded in Northern Ireland in June.

The storm led to the issuing of a status orange wind warning for counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo from 9pm on Wednesday to 10am on Thursday.

A status yellow wind warning was in place for counties Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Clare and Kerry for the same period.

The counties most impacted by the storm included Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan.

The highest wind speed in the Republic was at Mace Head, Co Galway, where a gust of 111km/h was recorded at 3am on Thursday morning.

Mean wind speeds of between 65km/h and 80km/h were experienced at different stations on the west coast.

ESB Network spokeswoman Bernardine Maloney said crews were mobilised and were working towards restoring power to all impacted families over the course of Thursday.

She told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that it was mainly fallen trees that had caused the power outages across the country. The worst affected areas were in the northwest.

She pointed out that there was the added problem of the trees having summer foliage.

However, she explained that in many instances one fallen tree was having an impact on numerous customers, so once that tree was cleared power could be restored swiftly.

“We expect to have power back to everyone by this evening.”

Northern Ireland Electricity said that as of 8pm on Thursday, they had almost restored power to all of its customers. Almost 26,000 premises in the North had been without power following the storm.

In Co Donegal the N56 was impassable at Stragraddy in Termon due to a fallen tree. In Inishowen there was a fallen tree and electricity pole on the Gleneely Road (R238) in Moville.

In Co Monaghan the N2 was down to one lane between Emyvale and Aughnacloy at Elvey due to a fallen tree. There was serious damage to the surface of the Ballybay Road (R183) outside Clones due to the severe weather.

There were reports of trees being down in the midlands and a tree was blocking the Castlepollard-Delvin road, the Portarlington road out of Tullamore and the Ratoath-Curragha road in Meath.

There were also reports of a tree partially blocking the N4 eastbound at Enfield.

In the North, roads in Bangor, Dungannon, Gilford and Lurgan were closed by fallen trees or debris.

Belfast Harbour said two cruise ships, the Nautica and the Eclipse, were unable to berth due to the storm conditions.

Cool blustery conditions will follow in Storm Hector’s wake and temperatures on Friday will only be between 13 and 17 degrees. Showers are forecast for both Saturday and Sunday, with rainfall close to average for the time of year.

Additional reporting: PA

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