Storm Ali: Woman who died after caravan swept off cliff named; 67,000 remain without power

    Storm Ali: The story so far:
  • Two people have died in separate incidents in Galway and Northern Ireland
  • A Swiss woman, named Elvira Ferraii, was killed after her caravan was swept off a cliff in Claddaghduff
  • A man in his 20s died and another was injured after being hit by a tree in Armagh
  • 67,000 people remain without electricity
  • The Green Luas line is not operating between Beechwood and Dawson
  • The National Ploughing Championships have been extended to Friday after being cancelled today

Latest: A woman who died after her caravan was swept off a cliff in Galway today has been named.

The scene in Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway where the woman, ages in her 50s, died. (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The woman, Elvira Ferraii from Switzerland, was staying at the Clifden ecoBeach Camping and Caravan Park when a severe gust took her caravan over the side and down onto a beach.

Emergency services were called before 8am this morning but the victim, aged in her 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene after a brief search. She was reported to have been staying at the remote beauty spot for several weeks.

Ms Ferraii's body has been sent to University Hospital Galway where a post-mortem will be held.

Ireland was battered by some of the worst winds recorded at this time of year, the conditions wreaking havoc on power supplies and roads – and costing two lives.

In Northern Ireland, a man working on behalf of public utility Northern Ireland Water at a water pumping station died when a tree fell on him at a popular forest park in Co Armagh.

White overall-clad forensics experts combed the scene and the fire service oversaw work on the hefty tree, which had fallen across the main entrance road into Slieve Gullion park, a forested hill in South Armagh.

Local residents begin the clear up operation to clear roads after Storm Ali brought down several trees throughout Co Galway including this one on the main Tuam to Headford road. Photo: Ray Ryan

Meanwhile, 67,000 homes remain without electricity tonight after ESB crews restored power to 119,000 customers who were affected by outages today.

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

Luas services remain disrupted in Dublin as the Green Line is not operating this evening between Beechwood and Dawson as a result of storm damage.

The company says the service disruption will continue until tomorrow afternoon but affected passengers can use Luas tickets on Dublin Bus.

Today, Met Eireann said the strongest gusts in the hour leading up to 10am reached speeds of 120km/hat Mace Head in Co Galway, 98km/h at Dublin Airport and 107km/h at Shannon.

Earlier: Storm Ali claims second victim as man, 20s, dies in Northern Ireland

A man has died and another was injured when a tree fell on them as they worked in a country park in Northern Ireland during Storm Ali.

It is understood the men were doing contract work for Northern Ireland Water when the incident happened in Slieve Gullion Park, near Newry, this afternoon.

The park straddles Co Down and Co Armagh.

The man who died was aged in his 20s, while the injured man, who is aged in his 40s, had been taken to hospital.

A spokeswoman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: "Police attended the sudden death of a man, aged in his 20s, in the Slieve Gullion Park, Drumintee Road area of Newry this afternoon."

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

Two victims have been claimed by the storm today after a woman was killed in Galway after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff.

The woman, believed to have been a Swiss tourist aged in her 50s, was the sole occupant of the caravan.

Meanwhile, 126,000 customers across the country remain without power after the storm caused widespread outages today.

ESB says that while crews continue to work on restoring power, some customers should prepare to be without electricity for up to three days.

Power has been restored to more than 60,000 homes already today as gusts of 150km/h caused trees to fall onto overhead lines.

The areas most impacted include: Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Castlebar, Galway, Portlaoise, Dundalk, Mullingar and parts of North County Dublin.

Earlier: Storm Ali leaves 186,000 without power and brings Ploughing Championships to a historic halt

ESB Networks said that 186,000 homes, businesses and farms have been left without power, with the most impacted in Cavan, Sligo, Donegal, Castlebar and Galway.

Crews are working where it is safe to do so to restore power as quickly as possible.

Over 1400 individual faults have been recorded across the network.

There has been severe disruption to the Luas Green Line in Dublin, as trams are only running between Brides Glen-Balally and Dominick-Broombridge as teams work to untangle overhead wires struck by a tree.

Engineers are working to free a section of the tram but it is not known as yet whether full service will resume before rush hour this evening.

The storm has also led to the cancellation of the second day the National Ploughing Championships.

The event, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, was cancelled following damage caused by the severe weather.

"All tickets for today will be valid for tomorrow," said Anna Marie McHugh, Assistant Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association.

"We are in conversation at the minute with all the service.

"So we're talking to them...to see how they feel about an extra day."

This is only the second time weather has affected the ploughing, in 1965 the event had to be postponed for a week because of snow.

Storm Ali continues to wreak havoc across Ireland and has led to delays in a number of services including postal services throughout the north and north-west of the country.

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Heavy winds and subsequent storm damage led to disruptions in more than 60 post offices while mail deliveries across a wide area of the north and north-west were temporarily disrupted during the height of the storm.

Heavy winds and subsequent storm damage led to disruptions in more than 60 post offices while mail deliveries across a wide area of the north and north-west were temporarily disrupted during the height of the storm.

Met Eireann said the strongest gusts in the hour leading up to 10am reached speeds of 120km/h at Mace Head in County Galway, 98km/h at Dublin Airport and 107km/h at Shannon.

Storm damage to the exhibitor stands at the National Ploughing Championships at Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Picture Dan Linehan

Dublin Airport said the storm would have an impact on its schedule and warned of cancellations.

Gale-force gusts began to be recorded on the Galway coast as heavy rain moved in.

Forecasters issued a Status Orange wind warning for more than half the country due to the storm.

Photos posted on social media showed trees down in Galway, while Dublin Fire Brigade posted about falling trees damaging cars, with one photo showing a smashed windscreen.

The unsettled weather is due to last right through the week, but an improvement is expected early next week as the drier weather is set to take hold.

Ali is first on the storm names list for 2018-19 announced by Met Eireann and the UK Met Office, which has run the Name Our Storms scheme for four years.

The season's names have been compiled from a list of submissions by the public, choosing some of the most popular names and also selecting those which reflect the nations, culture and diversity of the Ireland and the UK.

PA & Digital Desk

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