Storm Callum: High winds and choppy seas but warnings downgraded

A man takes pictures of the sea at Salthill promenade, Co Galway, during Storm Callum. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Storm Callum has swept across much of Ireland overnight, bringing very strong winds and heavy winds in many places.

  • Status Orange wind warning - Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo until 4pm
  • ESB: ESB estimates the majority of the 30,000 homes affected will be reconnected at some stage today
  • Dublin Airport: Aer Lingus has cancelled a number of flights. Passengers advised to check status of their flight before going to the airport
  • Cork Airport: Flights operating to schedule with no delays or impact. Passengers advised to check status of their flight before going to the airport
  • Shannon Airport: Early morning flights into Shannon Airport are currently operating to, or ahead, of schedule
  • Irish Rail Disruption to DART and Rosslare services. All other services are operating at present, but may be subject to delays
  • Irish Ferries Some cancellations between Dublin and Holyhead. Passengers advised to check website for latest information

Latest: Network operator ESB reported multiple faults, with counties Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Monaghan and Donegal among the worst hit.

ESB said that at approximately 4am this morning, a peak of approximately 60,000 homes, farms and businesses were without electricity.

Half of these were reconnected remotely overnight by the national distribution control centre.

As the storm abates, ESB Networks crews have been deployed and are working to restore supply to appoximately 10,000 homes, farms and businesses this afternoon.

The vast majority of those affected are expected to have their power restored by tonight.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds associated with the arrival of the storm overnight.

ESB are appealing to people, particularly farmers and landowners, to be vigilant as fallen trees or branches may have fallen on, or be leaning against electricity wires.

People are asked not to approach or touch the wires, trees or branches, as they are extremely dangerous.

A mink decides to stick to dry land amid stormy weather off Co Galway (Brian Lawless/PA)

The National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) met in Dublin this morning to review the storm's impact and to co-ordinate any necessary response.

In a statement, the NECG said Storm Callum had made its way across the country as forecast by Met Éireann with the worst of the storm affecting the west coast.

"Fortunately it did not hit in all areas as hard as it could have, resulting in minimal disruption," the statement said.

The group said that even though the worst of the storm had passed, people should still stay away from coastal areas for the duration of the orange warning.

They advised motorists not to drive through flooded areas and to anticipate strong cross-winds and other hazards such as falling or fallen trees.

In Galway, the local authority had put flood gates in place in Salthill and a 80-metre portable dam was installed at Spanish Arch.

The NECG was widely criticised for failing to implement a red warning alert during Storm Ali.

Two people died in that storm last month.- Press Association

Thousands without power as storm continues

A man avoids the waves at Salthill promenade, Co Galway during Storm Callum. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Some of the weather warnings around the country have now expired but a Status Orange wind warning remains in place for Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare until 5pm.

There is also a Status Orange gale warning for all coastal waters and on the Irish Sea.

Wind warnings in 21 counties were in place from midnight until 9am this morning.

Met Éireann's Joanna Donnelly says the strong winds will ease throughout the day.

"So the strongest winds are going to continue across western counties this morning," explained Ms Donnelly.

"The heavy rain has gone through, there will be some showers today, there will be another spell of heavy rain tonight.

"The winds are still strong at the moment, they will continue to ease off through the day over land in many areas."

ESB crews will be deployed where safe this morning to restore power to around 30 thousand homes and businesses after Storm Callum overnight.

Irish Ferries have cancelled sailings to and from Holyhead while there have been a number of flight cancellations at Dublin airport and some disruption to rail services around the country.

Anyone travelling should check ahead before making their journey, while drivers are being warned to watch out for fallen trees and debris.

The ESB's Paul Hand says crews will begin repairs to power lines as soon as possible.

"Crews will be assembling in depots this morning and they will be deployed once it is safe to do so," said Mr Hand.

"Obviously, the storm is continuing to rage across the western seaboard and once the storm abates in areas at the southernmost part of the country crews will begin to deploy and start repairs."

National Emergency Coordination Group is due to meet this morning to assess the situation following Storm Callum.

30,000 without power; commuters asked to take care

Around 30,000 of homes and businesses are without power this morning after Storm Callum hit the country with high winds overnight.

A Status Orange Weather alert is in effect in coastal counties right around the country as damaging gusts of up to 130 kilometres an hour sweep in from the Atlantic.

The storm is expected to track northwards as the day goes on, with warnings in the west and north remaining until early this evening.

The orange and yellow weather warnings are in place until 9am but could be extended while the orange warning for Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare has already been exended until 5pm.

Schools will have to decide this morning whether they will need to close while businesses are also being urged to be on alert.

Forecaster with Met Éireann Matthew Martin anticipates that conditions will still be poor throughout the rush hour period this morning.

"So the strong winds are going to continue for a time but they will ease across many southern and eastern areas later but they will remain very strong with further severe gusts in the northwest of the country," said Mr Martin.

Anyone worried about making the journey to school, college or work this morning should check online before venturing out.

Met Éireann, local councils and radio stations have information across their websites and social media.

Fallen trees and branches along with other debris while Storm Callum continues this morning could make journeys dangerous in places.

Anyone who does have to travel is urged to slow down.

This morning's Irish Ferries have been cancelled to and from Hollyhead and anyone travelling should check before making their journey.

As people take to the roads this morning, they are being told to slow down and take extreme care due to the high winds.

"High sided vehicles are especially vulnerable on open or exposed roads," said Chris Jones from AA Roadwatch.

"Motorists should be especially mindful of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and bear in mind that wind-blown debris is likely to be a problem especially if you are on secondary roads.

"We are likely to see a lot of fallen trees and there is also the possibility of fallen electricity poles.

"Make sure not to drive through standing water unless you are sure that it is not too deep for your vehicle."

People are being warned not to approach fallen electricity wires and report them as soon as possible.

ESB Networks have a full emergency response in place as Storm Callum crosses the country.

They are warning people that fallen wires are live and any contact could be fatal.

"Obviously there is still very blustery conditions, as this storm tracks across the country and it is a dangerous storm," said Paul Hand from ESB Networks.

"We are asking people that if you do come across any fallen wires or damaged electricity network this morning never touch or approach this infrastructure as these lines are live and pose a risk to life.

"We are asking the public to report any damage to the electricity infrastructure on 1850 372 999.

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