Northern Ireland news

Storm Hector: Thousands of homes left without power

A fallen tree on the Glenavy Road near Lisburn. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker
John Monaghan

AROUND 23,000 homes were left without power today as Storm Hector caused disruption across the north.

Trees were brought down, roads were blocked and ferry and train services affected as gusts of up to 70 miles per hour battered parts of Ireland and Britain.

A severe amber wind warning was originally in place for Northern Ireland in the morning, but as gales died down it was replaced by a yellow wind warning.

The worst affected areas for power cuts were in the west and south of Northern Ireland - with Omagh, Craigavon and Newry particularly hit.

Teams from Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) worked hard to restore power, with supplies now returned to the majority of the 23,000 homes.

More than 300 cases of damage caused to the network by the weather were also recorded, while the Fire Service attended five storm-related incidents.

Edel Creery from NIE said the damage included "power lines brought down by falling trees and poles broken by the high winds."

All ferry sailings between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island were cancelled, while the rail line connecting Antrim and Ballymena was blocked for a period.

Department of Infrastructure staff were out helping to clear debris from around 200 roads.

In Co Tyrone farmers told how they freed a young calf which was trapped after a huge tree collapsed on top of it.

The young calf's owners in Dromore noticed a number of trees had collapsed on their farm early today.

Caroline McCarron said she and her husband feared some calves would be trapped when they saw the fallen trees and went out to investigate.

"At first, we thought it was dead, but it moved when we touched it," she said and told how they managed to free it.

'We'll have to call it Lucky after that," she said.

In south Belfast, the storm caused damage to the course at Belvoir Park Golf Club, with a number of trees left strewn across the green.

A tree was also ripped from its roots and blown onto the All Souls Church on Elmwood Avenue, close to Queen University's Student Union.

The weather conditions forced the re-routing of the Nautica and Eclipse cruise ships, which had been due to dock at Belfast Harbour.

In the Republic, 35,000 homes were left without power, mainly across the west coast in counties Donegal, Mayo, Sligo and Galway.

There were also some electricity outages in Cavan, Monaghan and parts of Dublin.

The Republic's electricity board, ESB, warned the public not to touch or move fallen wires.

However, in some parts, the damage turned out to be less than initially feared.

Roads around Salthill Promenade in Galway city were closed as a precaution on Tuesday night amidst fears of flooding but the heavy downpours did not materialise.

'Hector' was the eighth named storm to hit Ireland within the space of a year.

 

 

If you are without power, you can report the fault at nienetworks.co.uk or call 03457 643 643

 

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