Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

200 homes lose power as gale force winds sweep into Ulster

Around 200 homes lost power early today as gale force winds, forecast to worsen throughout the day, began to batter the province.

Around 200 homes lost power early today as gale force winds, forecast to worsen throughout the day, began to batter the province.

Motorists were this morning being urged to take extreme care on the roads after the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for high winds and heavy rain.

Stormy conditions which began to sweep across Northern Ireland overnight were expected to reach their height later this morning, bringing gale force winds of up to 70mph and up to an inch of rain.

A Northern Ireland Electricity spokeswoman said that around 200 customers had lost power overnight, located in "small pockets".

She said the disruption was being worked on by engineers since early this morning and that emergency crews would be on stand-by throughout the day as conditions worsened.

Issuing a severe weather warning for western Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Met Office urged the public to take extra care today. It attributed the stormy conditions to a deepening depression over the Atlantic.

A spokesman for the MeteoGroup in London said the strongest gust recorded in Northern Ireland overnight was 52mph in Ballykelly. He said that winds would strengthen to gale force throughout the morning before gradually easing in the afternoon. He also warned that a "heavy and prolonged" burst of rain would also hit many areas today, possibly bringing up to an inch of rain.

"All in all, it's a pretty horrible day with high winds and heavy rain, " he added.

Drivers are being advised to watch out for fallen debris and to use dipped headlights at all times of poor visibility.

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