Storms expected to die down by afternoon


GALE FORCE winds that have battered the country causing damage to power and phone lines in recent days will have died out by this afternoon, according to Met Éireann.

Calm, mild weather is expected to dominate over the coming days, although there will be drizzle at times.

While it remained stormy overnight last night and into this morning the winds are expected to ease from this afternoon, Met Éireann forecaster Sandra Spillane said.

“For Thursday the winds will be light to moderate and westerly. During Friday they might pick up a little during the day, but will ease again later on and will be mostly moderate and will continue westerly,” she said.

It will remain mild into the weekend with temperatures reaching 10 degrees at night and up to 12 degrees during the day in some parts. While it will be mostly dry, there will be patches of rain today and tomorrow. The rain may be persistent at times, but is unlikely to be heavy.

Rain will become more widespread tomorrow evening, but is set to die out overnight leaving a drier day, with just some drizzle mainly on the Atlantic coast on Saturday, with a similar picture expected on Sunday.

Despite high winds along the east coast yesterday there were no further disruptions to power supplies, the ESB said.

More than 15,000 customers lost power on Tuesday in parts of Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Clare, the midlands, Wexford and Galway, but all homes had services restored by mid-morning yesterday.

More than 200 ESB network staff worked overnight into yesterday morning to repair lines damaged by the high winds. The strongest gust of 168km/h was recorded at Malin Head, Co Donegal, early on Tuesday morning while wind speeds of more than 100km/h were recorded at Belmullet, Co Mayo, and Dublin airport.

Some 28 ESB staff travelled North to assist Northern Ireland Electricity in repairs to the electricity supply to 10,000 homes and businesses that were affected by the storms. Coleraine, Ballymoney and Bangor were among the hardest-hit areas.

ESB network crews were on standby last night to tackle any further damage to lines.

A spokesman for the company said customers may experience short disruptions to supply, unlikely to last more than a few minutes, as staff work to replace temporary emergency repairs carried out in the last two days with permanent fixtures.

The ESB has issued a warning in relation to the danger of fallen power lines, or lines hit by broken branches, which could still be live. The public has been asked to contact the ESB’s emergency number on 1850-372999 if they come across damaged lines.

Irish Ferries has cancelled both of today’s Jonathan Swiftfast sailings from Dublin Port to Holyhead at 8.45am and 2.30pm. Passengers can choose to travel on either the 8.05am or the 8.55pm Ulyssesservices.

Eircom engineers were continuing to work last night to repair phone lines and restore internet services to more than 5,000 homes and businesses which lost service during the storms. Customers in Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Louth, Monaghan and Cavan were worst affected by damage to the lines a spokeswoman for the company said.

Services at Dublin airport returned to normal yesterday following cancellations and delays on at least a dozen flights between Dublin and the UK on Tuesday.

While the winds are expected to abate today, motorists have been warned to be on the alert for debris, including fallen branches and fencing on the roads as the clean-up after the severe weather continues.