Storm causing travel chaos; trampoline damages overhead rail lines

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

The exceptionally stormy conditions are causing havoc for motorists and travellers around the country, with a trampoline causing damage to the rail service.

Met Eireann has issued its highest weather warning urging people to protect themselves from strong winds, heavy rain and very high seas arriving in the west and south of Ireland.

The rest of the country is on “amber alert” – with the public told to be prepared for disruption caused by the storm.

Gardaí have so far reported an overturned lorry and a number of trees blown over by the wind, including one mature tree which has fallen across both lanes of a main road between Freshford and Urlingford near Kilkenny.

There are no Dart services between Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock due to overhead line damage. Dublin Bus is accepting all valid rail tickets.

The 7am Tralee to Heuston services departed 50 minutes late due to storm damage to level a crossing.

Iarnrod Eireann reported damage to overhead lines in Dublin because of a trampoline.

And there are reports of a tree down on the line from Galway and Westport towards Dublin, which is likely to cause delays.

Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny says trains are running through Pearse Station, but it is closed to passengers.

Some flights have been diverted, delayed or cancelled as a result of severe gusty winds at Dublin Airport.

Passengers are advised to check with their airline's website before travelling today.

Some Irish Ferries and Stena Line services are also cancelled today due to adverse weather conditions.

Motorists are being urged to take extreme care on the roads this morning, due to very stormy conditions.

There were gusts of up to 150 kilometres per hour in parts of the country last night, with Met Eireann issuing a Status Red weather warning, which is in place until 3 O' Clock this afternoon.

Eircom will have 700 crews working today to repair network damage caused by the recent stormy weather.

About 4,000 customers in Northern Ireland are without electricity after severe gales with gusts of up to 75 mph swept across the southern and eastern counties overnight.

Trees fell across powerlines and electricity poles were broken and the Met Office weather warning for high winds and heavy rain remains in place until 7pm this evening, a Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) statement said.

Emergency crews and engineers are assessing the damage caused and carry out repairs.

Julia Carson, communications manager, said, “We were in regular contact with the Met Office and had mobilised NIE emergency crews, engineers and call handlers in preparation for any damage the severe weather may cause. We have already restored power to 20,000 customers overnight and will continue to assess the damage and carry out repairs.

“As the weather conditions are set to continue there may be some areas where we will need to wait for the high winds to abate to allow our emergency crews to work safely.”

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