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Northern Ireland Weather warning as Storm Henry blows in with 80mph gales

By Linda Stewart

Published 02/02/2016

A couple battle against the powerful winds along the Strand
A couple battle against the powerful winds along the Strand
Spray tumbles over the sea wall at Portstewart
Pedestrians on the promenade watch as the sea crashes in as Storm Henry pummelled Northern Ireland yesterday
Pedestrians on the promenade watch as the sea crashes in as Storm Henry pummelled Northern Ireland yesterday
Pedestrians on the promenade watch as the sea crashes in as Storm Henry pummelled Northern Ireland yesterday

Northern Ireland was last night bracing itself for gale force winds of up to 80mph as Storm Henry swept in from the Atlantic.

Even by early yesterday afternoon, gusts of 75mph had already been recorded at Orlock Point and Helen's Bay in Co Down.

A number of roads were closed due to fallen trees and the Foyle Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles for a time but has since reopened to all vehicles.

There have been warnings that the electricity network could suffer damage, particularly in exposed and coastal locations.

NIE Networks said it had initiated an escalation plan, with emergency crews, engineers and call handlers on standby.

Roads Service reported that a number of roads were closed due to fallen trees, including the Charleston Road and Kennedy Road in Killylea, Co Armagh.

Fallen trees also forced the closure of the Letterkenny Road, Dungiven Road and Mullagh Road, Maghera, in the northwest and the Beanstown Road, Belsize Road and Mount Pleasant Avenue in Co Antrim.

The Met Office issued a yellow severe weather warning, due to stay in place until rush hour this morning. A spokesman said: "An area of low pressure is moving east across the Atlantic, deepening as it does so, before arriving across the north-west of the UK later on Monday.

"Gale to severe gale force west to southwesterly winds are expected to develop on the southern and western flanks of this system, firstly affecting western Scotland from late afternoon before progressing east through the evening and overnight. Storm force winds are likely in the most exposed areas."

The Met Office said gusts of 70-80 mph are expected. "Be prepared for some potentially severe weather, causing transport disruption and difficult driving, some structural damage, dangerous coastal conditions and disruption to power supplies," the spokesman said.

Anyone experiencing a loss of electricity should contact NIE Networks on 03457 643 643 or report it on nienetworks.co.uk

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