Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Video: 30,000 homes and businesses without electricity, as roads are shut and railway lines obstructed across Northern Ireland

Update 8pm: 1,500 still without power - Send your storm pictures and videos to digital.editorial@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Huge waves have turned Portstewart's play park into a swimming pool, as pictured by Darron Mark of Bowline Images
Huge waves turned Portstewart's play park into a swimming pool, as pictured by Darron Mark of Bowline Images
Huge waves at Portstewart, as pictured by Darron Mark of Bowline Images
Parked car at Donaghadee getting a free wash Pic Derek Polwin
Strong waves battered the north coast on Wednesday. Pic Evelyn McCullough
High winds and sea batter the Antrim coast road in Co Antrim. Pic Paul Faith
High winds and sea batter the Antrim coast road in Co Antrim. Pic Paul Faith
Network Rail handout photo of a tree on the line, south of the Moulinearn level crossing, Perthshire as as strong winds batter the UK.
An overturned lorry on the M6 by Junction 40 as strong winds batter the UK
SALTBURN, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 05: Waves begin to break against Saltburn pier during the storm surge on December 5, 2013 in Saltburn, United Kingdom. Strong winds and big tides are expected to cause coastal flooding along many of the east coast of England. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
SALTBURN, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 05: Debris from the start of the storm surge covers a road near the Ship Inn on December 5, 2013 in Saltburn, United Kingdom. Strong winds and big tides are expected to cause coastal flooding along many of the east coast of England. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
GREAT YARMOUTH, ENGLAND, DECEMBER 05: A local resident fills sandbags on the beach on December 5, 2013 in Great Yarmouth, England. Thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes, the Environment Agency has given 42 severe floods warnings as a storm surge hits large parts of the UK. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
GREAT YARMOUTH, ENGLAND, DECEMBER 05: Sandbags are placed to protect an amusement arcade on December 5, 2013 in Great Yarmouth, England. Thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes, the Environment Agency has given 42 severe floods warnings as a storm surge hits large parts of the UK. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
GREAT YARMOUTH, ENGLAND, DECEMBER 05: Sandbags are placed to protect an amusement arcade on December 5, 2013 in Great Yarmouth, England. Thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes, the Environment Agency has given 42 severe floods warnings as a storm surge hits large parts of the UK. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
NORDDEICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: A man covers his face against the heavy wind and rain on North Sea coastline on December 5, 2013 near Norddeich, Germany. Germany is bracing for "Xaver", a heavy storm meteorologists are predicting could be the most severe storm for the region in decades. (Photo by David Hecker/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 5: A workmen starts to clear fallen trees and storm damage on Kelvin Way on December 5, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland.Parts of the UK have suffered winds of up to 142mph today, causing travel disruptions, loss of power and one death in West Lothian, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 5: Passersby pass fallen trees and storm damage on Kelvin Way on December 5, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland. Parts of the UK have suffered winds of up to 142mph today, causing travel disruptions, loss of power and one death in West Lothian, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NESSMERSIEL, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: Workers prepares a gate to the Harbour at the North Sea coastline on December 5, 2013 in Nessmersiel near Norddeich, Germany. Germany is bracing for "Xaver", a heavy storm meteorologists are predicting could be the most severe storm for the region in decades. (Photo by David Hecker/Getty Images)
SUN CITY, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 05: A flag is pictured against the storm clouds as plays is cancelled during the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player CC on December 5, 2013 in Sun City, South Africa. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
NORDDEICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: A ferryboat to the island of Juist remains in the harbour because of a severe weather warning for the North Sea coastline on December 5, 2013 near Norddeich, Germany. Germany is bracing for "Xaver", a heavy storm meteorologists are predicting could be the most severe storm for the region in decades. (Photo by David Hecker/Getty Images)
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Main st. in Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press Belfast 05-12-2013: Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has said 6,500 customers are without power after strong winds caused disruption to power supplies. High winds caused trees to fall on the Killyeagh Road blocking one lane outside Downpatrick . Picture By: Arthur Allison.
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Main st. in Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Giants Causeway had some unbelievable waves this morning ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th December 2013 Last nights high winds up to 70 Miles an hour have caused trouble all over N.Ireland especially on the North Antrim Coast Portstewart children's "Pickie Pool" was flooded and the Cafe shutters blown off the hinges, and benches washed up on the rocks ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Main st. in Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
051213 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Parts of Portrush is closed off after tiles and parts of the building came off as the North Coast was battered by Gale Force winds. Hail Storms and strong winds still continue throughout the day. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris / Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 5/12/2013 Stormy Winds hit Larne on the East Coast in Co Antrim as strong winds cause disruption across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
John Hancock from Knocknagoney awoke this morning to his roof blowing off and pictured it hanging outside his bedroom window.
Huge waves at the promenade in Portstewart, as pictured by Darron Mark of Bowline Images

A storm has damaged Northern Ireland's electricity network, leaving 29,000 homes and businesses without power on Thursday morning.

Gale force winds ripped down trees, power lines and electricity poles.

Gusts of up to 70mph which swept in from the Atlantic have left parts of the north, east and exposed rural areas facing major blackouts.

Meanwhile two people were killed in other parts of the UK due to the stormy conditions.

In Scotland a lorry driver died after his vehicle was blown on top of cars.

Elsewhere, another man was killed by a falling tree in Nottinghamshire.

Energy company NIE said the damage was caused by flying debris and high winds and its latest figures estimate that around 7,000 properties had been affected during the storm.

According to NIE, some 2,700 customers remain without power as of 4pm.

Julia Carson of NIE said the firm continued to work in order to reconnect power to the thousands still left without electricity.

"We had been monitoring the incoming weather and made arrangements to open our local incident centres and put additional emergency crews, engineers and call handlers on standby," she said.

"All programmed work on the overhead network has been cancelled.  The damage has been significant with lines brought down and poles broken by the high winds.  Some areas experienced gusts of up to 70mph.

"We have been working since early morning and we’ll continue to respond to reports of damage and put customers back on supply as quickly and safely as possible."

Specialist incident centres have been set up while additional emergency crews and engineers have been drafted in to resolve the 200 faults on the network.

In Portrush, a felled tree caused damage and street closures.

More than 15,000 homes had power supplies restored overnight.

Killard House School in Donaghadee was closed due to a power cut.

An NIE spokeswoman said: "Damage has been caused by flying debris and high winds, including broken electricity lines and damage to poles and other equipment.

"There may also be further faults which have not yet been reported to Northern Ireland Electricity and adverse weather conditions, which could cause additional faults, are due to continue for the next few hours."

Roads and rail

The adverse weather has brought trees down across Northern Ireland, shutting roads and obstructing railway lines.

The Crawfordsburn and Rathgael Roads in Bangor were closed because of fallen trees as were the Spa Road, Ballynahinch, Mearne Road, Downpatrick and Castleward Road, Downpatrick.

In Belfast, morning rush hour traffic faced further congestion because the Antrim Road was blocked by a fallen tree at Kincraig Park. The Ormeau Embankment in the south of the city was only passable with care.

In Londonderry, high winds forced the closure of the Foyle Bridge but it has since re-opened.

The main Coleraine to Limavady Road was also shut due to fallen trees while in Co Tyrone the Sweep Road in Cookstown was shut due to an unsafe roof on a building.

Latest road closures include:

  • A37 Dunhill Road, Coleraine (Coleraine to Limavady Mountain Road)  at Springwell Forest -  REOPENED
  • Tanaghmore Road - Randalstown - REOPENED
  • Circular Road, Whiteabbey - REOPENED
  • Main Street Portrush closed from Atlantic Avenue due to unsafe Buildings - Main Street will remain closed overnight
  • A42 Carnlough Road between Tullymore Road and Ballylig Road - REOPENED
  • Dunadry Rd and Alder Road in Antrim Council area - Closed
  • B7 Burren Road, (between Dromara and Ballynahich) Closed
  • Mill Road at Knockbracken, CAstlereagh - REOPENED
  • The A29 Moneymore Road dual carriageway, Cookstown - REOPENED
  • U2210 Letteran Rd, Churchtown - closed
  • U715 Ballynagilly Lane, Cookstown - closed
  • U5053 Craigadick, Maghera - closed
  • Stranmillis Road near Danesfort - Closed whilst tree clearance takes place
  • Fardross Road, Clogher, is closed due to fallen BT poles. ( The trees which brought down the BT wires have been removed.)

Police have advised motorists to drive with care.

Train services have been disrupted, due to debris on the line, between Belfast and Yorkgate, Carrickfergus, Larne Harbour, Larne Town, Whitehead and Seaview.

Translink has said all lines are subject to alterations and short notice delays of up to 30 minutes. NI Railways tickets can be used on Ulsterbus and Metro services where there is this disruption.

Flooding

A number of ferry crossings were expected to be disrupted including the P&O Larne to Cairnryan service. The company has advised customers to check the helpline before setting off on their journey.

All sailings between Ballycastle and Rathlin off the Co Antrim coast were cancelled for the day.

There were also reports of flooding in Portstewart, Co Antrim after waves, some as big as 20ft battered the promenade.

A shop partially collapsed on Belfast's Grosvenor Road narrowly missing a bus shelter.

In the city centre, the Christmas market was temporarily closed because of the high winds while the Christmas tree at Stormont's Parliament Buildings was blown over.

Forecast

Severe weather warnings have been issued across the UK. While Britain is under 'amber warning', Northern Ireland has a less severe 'yellow warning' in place - which means to be aware of potential disruption.

XAVER.jpg

The Met Office says Northern Ireland will see a narrow band of heavy rain moving down from the north over the course of the day with gale-force westerly winds.

This will be strongest along the north coast, where huge waves have been reported. Winds could reach 70mph (115kph) as a storm, dubbed Xaver, moves in from the Atlantic.

But it will soon become brighter with easing winds and showers developing.

Send your storm pictures and videos to digital.editorial@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Customers still affected by the storm can contact NIE on 08457 643643

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