Ireland

Tens of thousands without power as Storm Betty batters Ireland

Waves crash against the sea wall in Tramore, County Waterford, as Storm Betty brings strong winds and rain as well as the threat of flooding across Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)
Waves crash against the sea wall in Tramore, County Waterford, as Storm Betty brings strong winds and rain as well as the threat of flooding across Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)

Tens of thousands of homes remain without power after Storm Betty battered Ireland.

ESB Networks said storm force winds associated caused damage to the electricity network overnight, affecting just over 70,000 homes, farms and businesses.

Just before noon on Saturday, just under 50,000 electricity customers remained without power with the damage mainly attributable to lightning and fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds.

Areas most impacted include counties in the South-East along with North Dublin, Dundalk, Portlaoise and Kilkenny.

An ESB Networks statement said: “All available resources are being deployed to respond to all electricity outages where safe to do so.

“ESB Networks crews have been working since first light and will work through this afternoon into this evening to restore power to as many customers as possible.

“A significant number of impacted customers will have their power restored by this evening.

“However, due to the scale of the damage to the electricity network, some customers in localised areas may remain without supply overnight.”

Customers without power can check for real-time updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.PowerCheck.ie.

All Met Eireann weather alerts have now been lifted.

On Saturday morning the Castletownbere lifeboat was launched in gale force winds to go to the assistance two sailors whose yacht got into difficulties on the northern shore of Kenmare Bay in Co Kerry.

The 31-foot ketch had been anchored off Dromquinna and, as the storm became increasingly strong, the vessel dragged anchor and became stuck on a rock.

The sailors were concerned and raised the alarm with the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia stating that they were requesting immediate assistance.

The yacht was subsequently located on a rock south of Dromquinna but, with the rising tide, volunteer lifeboat crew were able to attach a tow rope and pull the vessel clear.

Paul Stevens, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Castletownbere RNLI, said: “When the crew returns this afternoon, they will have spent over 10 hours at sea in challenging conditions – demonstrating their very strong commitment to the lifeboat service.”

In Northern Ireland, the PSNI warned motorists to be aware of hazardous driving conditions.

A spokesperson said: “Police are continuing to appeal to road users to continue to exercise caution this morning in all areas of the country, as high winds and rain can make driving conditions difficult.

“There are also reports of trees down on a number of roads.

“Motorists should continue to proceed carefully and at lower speeds, bearing in mind the impact of this weather on stopping distances and braking.

“Please also heed any road closure signage.”