Latest: Ireland to escape worst effects of Storm Bronagh

Latest: Storm Bronagh is on her way this evening, bringing heavy rain and blustery winds.

A yellow rain warning for counties in the south-east has been issued, however, it is not expected to be as severe as Storm Ali which wreaked havoc yesterday.

Ireland is set to escape the worst of the effects as Met Eireann says the centre of the latest Atlantic storm will pass to the east of us.

Meanwhile, 12,000 homes still remain without power across the country after yesterday's storm conditions left 186,000 people with outages at one point.

The worst affected areas include counties Cavan, Monaghan, Galway and Westmeath.

In Dublin, full service is expected to resume on the Green Luas line tomorrow morning as it experiences its second night of disruption.

There is currently no service between Cowper in Rathmines and Dawson in the city centre after a tram's connecting roof rod became caught in a fallen power line yesterday.

Earlier: Two more storms expected to affect Ireland and UK this week

Update 12.15pm: Storm Bronagh will travel along the Irish Sea near the southeast coast of Ireland today, while another storm could form this weekend.

Met Éireann confirmed a wave depression is expected to deepen and move into northern England later today and tonight.

The UK Met Office have named it Storm Bronagh.

Ireland will experience heavy and possibly thundery rain today and for a time tonight, with a rainfall warning in operation for parts of south and east Munster and South Leinster. A gale warnings also in operation for sea areas.

The weather remains changeable and disturbed for the coming weekend and there is potential for another storm to form late Saturday into Sunday. This could be the beginning of Storm Callum.

The track of the depression is uncertain at this stage and both Met Éireann and the UK Met Office are monitoring developments.

ESB crews have restored power to 14,000 further homes, farms and businesses that lost supply due to the impact of Storm Ali yesterday.

At the height of the storm yesterday afternoon, 186,000 customers were impacted, and efforts continue throughout the day to restore power to as many of the remaining 25,000 customers as possible.

In Dublin, the Luas Green Line will not operate a full line service until 5.30am tomorrow morning due to damage sustained during Storm Ali.

The damage done to the Luas overhead power lines by Storm Ali yesterday was extensive.

An overhead wire in the Beechwood/Ranelagh area became entangled in a tram pantograph; there was significant pulling on the overhead wires, resulting in extensive damage.

Over 200metres of overhead line is being replaced and the tension is being reconfigured.

A Luas 502 Tram pantograph has been significantly damaged also.

Digital Desk

Earlier: Storm Bronagh could arrive in Ireland before the weekend

Update 11.15am: Met Éireann is monitoring whether another storm could arrive as soon as this weekend in the wake of Storm Ali.

The new storm - Bronagh - may bring strong winds which could damage buildings, cause injuries and threaten lives.

Storm Bronagh would be the second named storm of the 2018/19 season.

"There’s a potential storm that may develop over the weekend,” meteorologist Pat Clarke told the Irish Times.

"We’re monitoring it with the British Met Office to see whether it will happen or not.

There is a lot of uncertainty about tracks and whether it will develop or not.

The British Met Office warned of a danger to life upon the arrival of Storm Bronagh.

"There is the possibility of damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs or through falling trees and branches, as well as a danger to life," it said.

On Wednesday, a wind gust of 91mph was recorded in County Down, Northern Ireland, the strongest wind gust in September in Northern Ireland since records began.

In Co Galway, a woman, named locally as Elvira Ferraii, and said to have been aged in her 50s, died when the caravan she was staying in at the remote beauty spot in Clifden ecoBeach Camping and Caravan Park blew off the cliff and smashed onto the beach below.

A falling tree in Co Armagh killed a man in his 20s, who was working on behalf of public utility Northern Ireland Water in Slieve Gullion Forest Park, and injured his colleague.

A status yellow rainfall warning is in place today for Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford.

Meanwhile, AA Ireland is urging motorists to ensure their car is winter ready and that they have a plan in place in the event of a car breakdown as weather conditions take a turn for the worst.

AA Rescue, the motoring organisation’s breakdown assistance service, attended over 300 breakdowns on Wednesday alone as Storm Ali affected parts of Ireland.

With further unsettled conditions likely over the coming months, the AA is urging motorists to carry out a basic car maintenance check, including a check of tyres and their battery, to ensure their car is ready for the months ahead.

"While 300 breakdowns in a day is the norm for AA Rescue we did receive a number of calls to cars damaged by falling trees and branches, including one incident where someone’s keys were blown away by the winds and couldn’t be recovered," Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs said.

"After the good weather we have enjoyed over the past few months, many of us may have let car maintenance slip a little bit but keeping your car in good condition is vital to keeping our roads safe.

"For now, checking the condition of your tyres and your windscreen wipers is probably the most important aspect of car maintenance as the weather conditions we experience at this time of year, such as heavy rain and strong winds, can impact on your visibility or your car’s traction with the road.

"However, as we move into the winter and temperatures dip, our AA Rescue team will likely see an increase in breakdowns caused by old or faulty batteries so it’s certainly no harm to get your battery checked now ahead of time."

Earlier: Two killed and 39,000 left without power as Storm Ali wreaks havoc

Update 8.30am: 39,000 remain without power this morning due to the impact of Storm Ali.

ESB Networks crews have been continuing efforts from early this morning to restore power to the remaining homes, farms and businesses that lost supply.

At the height of the storm yesterday afternoon, 186,000 customers were impacted.

Additional ESB crews from less impacted areas of the country are deploying in the worst impacted counties, which include counties Sligo, Galway, Longford, Westmeath, Cavan and Louth.

The ESB said it expects the majority of the 39,000 customers without power this morning will have their supply restored today.

    ESB Networks is reminding customers of the precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut:

  • Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks at 1850 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully;
  • Turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost;
  • Leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored;
  • Take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames;
  • Test smoke alarms with fresh batteries;
  • Ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.

Another weather warning is in place this morning for rain with up to 40 millimetres expected in south east counties.

In Dublin, Luas operators say they will give an update at lunchtime about Green Line services.

Overhead power lines were significantly damaged during Storm Ali yesterday.

The Green Line is not operating between Cowper and Dawson as maintenance crews carry out repairs.

Digital Desk

Earlier: Two killed and 67,000 left without power as Storm Ali wreaks havoc

By Conall Ó Fátharta, John Fallon, and Joe Leogue

Update 6.50am: Two people have died and some 67,000 homes, businesses, and farms are without power as Storm Ali battered the country with winds of over 140km/h.

The scene at Acton’s beach, Claddaghduff, Co Galway, where a Swiss tourist in her 50s was killed as her caravan was blown into the sea by Storm Ali. Picture: Paul Mealey

In Galway, a Swiss woman, believed to be in her 50s, was killed after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff and onto a beach at Claddaghduff, near Clifden.

The woman was named locally last night as Elvira Ferraii, a Swiss tourist who was visiting Connemara when she got caught up in the violent storm which struck early yesterday morning.

It is understood Ms Ferraii had only arrived in Connemara the previous day.

The alarm was raised around 7.45am and emergency services rushed to the scene after the occupants of a mobile home spotted the caravan being whisked towards the seashore.

The caravan in which the woman was sleeping was dislodged from its moorings by winds of up to 140km/h and plunged 20ft-30ft onto the beach and later became submerged after being blown into the water.

Members of Clifden Fire Brigade, gardaí, and Cleggan Coast Guard were on the scene quickly but were unable to save the woman.

The woman’s body was discovered on the beach and was taken to University Hospital Galway where a postmortem is due to be carried out.

The caravan disintegrated in the strong tide and winds.

Meanwhile, in Armagh, one man died and another man was injured after being hit by a tree as he worked in Slieve Gullion Park.

It is understood the men were doing contract work for Northern Ireland Water.

The man who died was aged in his 20s. The injured man, aged in his 40s, was taken to hospital.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the incident was being investigated by the region’s Health and Safety Executive.

President Michael D Higgins expressed his condolences to the family of the Swiss woman who died in Galway and urged people to take care in the treacherous weather

“I was deeply saddened to learn that Storm Ali has already claimed one victim today in Claddaghduff, Co Galway. As President of Ireland, may I express my deepest condolences to her family,” he said.

I would also take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those, in statutory and voluntary organisations around the country, who are helping and stand ready to assist their fellow citizens, and who are working to maintain essential services around the country.

Storm Ali also led to the cancellation of day two of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly, due to public safety concerns.

The event, which was due to conclude today, will now run until tomorrow.

Organisers had initially delayed opening the site from 9am to 11am yesterday. This was then put back until the afternoon before the National Ploughing Association (NPA) made the call to cancel the second day of the three-day event.

NPA managing director Anna May McHugh said the decision was made with “deep regret” following lengthy consultations with gardaí, Offaly emergency services, and Met Éireann.

She said that, following these consultations, it was determined that the site was unsafe to open.

Wristbands for yesterday will be valid for entry today or for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, homes that suffered power cuts in yesterday’s conditions may have to wait up to three days for a restoration of their electricity supply, ESB Networks has warned.

Some 186,000 homes and businesses across the country were without power yesterday afternoon as a result of over 2,000 individual faults on the network. By yesterday evening, ESB Networks said it had reduced the number without electricity to 67,000.

A spokesperson for the ESB said that Cavan, Sligo, Donegal, Castlebar, Galway, Portlaoise, Dundalk, Mullingar, and parts of north county Dublin were the areas worst affected by power cuts.

An Post said it was working to restore its full services as soon as possible after weather conditions had disrupted deliveries in the north and north-west of the country.

A number of Irish Rail services were cancelled or delayed due to debris on the tracks. Yesterday morning the 7.15am Westport to Dublin train was delayed after it suffered damage due to fallen trees between Athlone and Tullamore.

The train was forced to travel to the capital from Tullamore at a reduced speed due to damage to its windscreen caused by a fallen branch.

A number of Bus Éireann services were disrupted, particularly in the east and Galway, and the company offered refunds to those who had bought tickets for buses to the Ploughing.

KEYWORDS:

Storm Ali

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