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Storm Hector: Forecasters warn of 'severe and potentially damaging gusts' as 35,000 homes remain without power

Independent.ie logo Independent.ie 14/06/2018 Denise Calnan

Trees felled in Crumlin © Independent.ie Trees felled in Crumlin Forecasters have warned of "severe and potentially damaging gusts" as thousands remains without power as a result of Storm Hector this morning. 

At least 35,000 homes, farms and business are without power this morning.

The areas most affected are those under Met Éireann's Orange Status warning; Donegal, Sligo, Galway and Mayo.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. There are also some power cuts in Cavan and Monaghan and, in the east, customers in Templeogue, Dublin and Blessington, Co Wicklow are also without power.

Trees felled in Crumlin © Independent.ie Trees felled in Crumlin

ESB said their teams are working non-stop to restore power to those affected.

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland, ESB's Head of Communications Bernadine Moloney said they expect to have power restored to everybody by this evening.

"The issue is we have summer-type trees in winter wind.

"We have a number of trees in full leaf that have come down in the winter winds, so one tree down is affecting a large number of customers.

"We expect a lot of people back in the earlier part of the day and we do expect everyone back by this evening.

"We currently have 35,000 people out," she added.

ESB have also issued an important public safety message, warning people not to touch or approach fallen sires or any aspect of a damaged electricity network.

Storm Hector is slamming the country with gusts of up to 125km/hr and a threat of coastal flooding. Forecasters issued two weather warnings yesterday afternoon, just days after the country basked in high temperatures and sunny conditions.

The warnings come into effect at 9pm yesterday evening and will remain in place until 10am this morning.

The Status Yellow wind warning was extended to seven more counties as Storm Hector made its way across the country.

Gardaí have warned motorists to take care in the difficult driving conditions.

According to AA Roadwatch, there is a tree down near Borris in Co Carlow, and a number of fallen trees near Ratoath in Co Meath.

There are also reports of a fallen tree on the N2 in Co Monaghan, and a tree down on the N18 in Clare, as well as a tree blocking the N14 in Donegal.

It is set to remain stormy this morning in coastal counties of Connacht and Ulster.

Trees felled in Crumlin © Independent.ie Trees felled in Crumlin

There are "severe and potentially damaging gusts as very strong south-west winds become westerly."

The current forecast reads; "It is very windy elsewhere also. From late morning onwards, the winds will ease and the country can expect sunny spells and scattered showers."

Storm Hector winds are reaching average speeds of 55 to 65 km/hr with gusts of 90 to 110 km/hr.

Rain showers today will be heaviest and most frequent in the west and north.

Trees felled in Crumlin © Independent.ie Trees felled in Crumlin

In the UK, the Met Office said there is a "small chance of injuries and danger to life".

They added that risks could also be posed by "large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea front", and that "disruption to outdoor activities" was likely.  

ESB Networks is also reminding customers of the precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut:

  • Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks at 1850 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully
  • Turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost
  • Leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored
  • Take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames
  • Test smoke alarms with fresh batteries
  • Ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.

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