Storm Isha: More than 170,000 homes without power as 'destructive' gusts hit Ireland

Storm Isha: More Than 170,000 Homes Without Power As 'Destructive' Gusts Hit Ireland
A person walking in high winds at Salthill, Galway, during Storm Isha. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Thousands of homes were left without power on Sunday night as Storm Isha's “destructive” winds swept across Ireland.

People were urged to heed warnings and told not to make unnecessary journeys as the most severe wind alerts kicked in on Sunday evening.


Status red wind warnings were issued for counties Donegal, Galway and Mayo, while status orange/amber warnings came into effect for all other counties on the island on Sunday evening.

As the status red warning came into effect at 5pm, the metal clock tower on top of the Thirteen on the Green bar at Eyre’s Square in Galway city fell on to the path below. Earlier, a person was hit by debris in Belfast before the most severe part of the storm hit.

A clock tower falls to the ground in Eyre Square, Galway, during Storm Isha. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Dozens of flights were cancelled, diverted or delayed from Irish airports as the storm intensified through the day.


The ESB said that as of 8.35pm, more than 170,000 homes, farms and businesses were without power, with the expectation of further power outages overnight.

The counties worst impacted by outages include Mayo, Galway, Roscommon and Kerry.

A tornado watch has also been issued by the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation for the entire country during Sunday.


Paul Rock, who chaired a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination on Sunday morning, said Storm Isha was “particularly nasty”.

“We don’t want anyone dying as a result of this storm,” Mr Rock said on RTÉ radio.

“So we want people to heed the public safety messaging.”

He asked the public to stay away from all coastal areas for the duration of the Met Éireann warnings, all road users to be aware of hazardous driving conditions including debris, and urged people not to touch fallen electricity wires.


There will be delays at ports, airports and possibly some public transport systems, and he advised people to check online to see if services are disrupted.

He said he expected schools to open as normal on Monday as the warnings expire in the early hours of Monday.

The red warnings are in place from 5pm to 9pm on Sunday in Galway and Mayo, and from 9pm on Sunday until 1am on Monday in Donegal.

There is a risk of dangerous coastal conditions, treacherous travelling conditions, and of significant and widespread power outages in these counties.

A status orange wind warning is in place across the country from 4pm or 5pm on Sunday until 2am or 3am on Monday.

Large coastal waves, very difficult travelling conditions, fallen trees and damage to power lines are expected during these periods.

Bus Éireann suspended services in Mayo and Galway from 4pm until the end of the day, while buses in Donegal were also called off during the red warning from 9pm to 1am.

Dublin Airport said the storm was posing “a significant challenge” to flights operations, and as of 7pm airlines had cancelled 114 flights – 58 incoming and 56 departing – with 36 flights diverted to other airports.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising road users in areas under a status red warning to avoid any travel during the storm window.

All road users are being advised to be aware of the dangers once the storm has passed as there may be hazardous conditions such as flooded roads and downed pylons, lines, trees and other debris which could block roads.

A status yellow wind warning is in place from 11am on Sunday until 4am on Monday.

In the North, an amber warning is in place in all counties from 6pm on Sunday until 9am on Monday, with a spell of “very strong winds” expected.

The Department of Infrastructure warned that despite contingency measures, public workers’ strike action may disrupt any responses to incidents such as debris on roads and floods.

It said all parts of Northern Ireland are expected to be affected, but the strongest winds will be in the early hours of Monday around the coast and in exposed locations.

The public are being asked to consider their journeys and if travelling, they are advised to take extra care on the roads.

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