More storms predicted to disrupt power supply and travel

Severe weather warnings remain in place as parts of Ireland prepare for another day of storm battering.

Malachy Duggan and his daughter Easkey find a trampoline blown into their back yard by the high winds in Knocknacarra, Co Galway. Pic: Andrew Downes

ESB Networks worked through the night to repair damage caused to electric lines, but thousands of homes were still without power.

Travel disruptions are also likely to continue with fierce conditions likely to rage on until late afternoon.

Met Eireann’s red alert warning is in place in south and eastern parts of the country, with Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford getting the worst of the stormy weather.

The forecaster warned gales of up to 150 kmph are expected to ravage coastal areas and there is a danger that high seas could cause coastal flooding.

Advertising hoardings are blown down in Cork. Pic: Dan Linehan

Damaging gusts of between 120kmph and 140kmph could batter the worst affected areas.

A less severe orange weather alert is in place for the rest of the country, with particularly high seas in the northwest.

Meanwhile, AA Roadwatch has warned drivers to take extra care on the roads and to be vigilant of fallen trees and other debris.

It said there had also been reports of spot flooding throughout the country and warned of strong crosswinds on open roads.

An electricity pole blown down in Cork. Pic: Dan Linehan

More than 7,500 Eircom customers were without telephone and broadband service as a result of strong winds, heavy rainfall and lightning overnight.

The company said it expected the figure to rise as the bad weather continues.

Cork, Galway, Mayo, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford were among the areas where services were worst hit.

“Working conditions in many areas of the country remain extremely difficult as a result of the dangerously high winds and lightning,” Eircom said in a statement.

“These conditions are hampering our repair efforts in some areas of the country.”

It said 700 crews were working today to restore services to those affected.

Around 2,250 customers had their services restored between Christmas Eve and St Stephen’s Day.

Northern Ireland Electricity said the number of homes without power had risen to 5,000 by midday.

Ms Carson said: “We have engineers and emergency crews currently working in difficult weather conditions.

“Overnight we restored power to over 30,000 customers and are continuing to assess the damage and carry out repairs in Counties Down, Armagh and Antrim.”

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