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Storm Barra: NIE confirm 950 homes remain without power as weather eases

Around 950 homes across Northern Ireland remain without power on Tuesday evening with the hope supply will be restored by midnight.

The yellow weather warning for wind and rain has now expired, with Storm Barra having left a trail of damage and disruption across the island and UK.

The extent of the high winds and potential damage prompted the Belfast Continental Christmas Market to take the decision to close “due to extreme weather conditions”.

Mark Nixon from NIE said the storm had knocked out power to 8,000 homes across Northern Ireland at its peak.

He said the network had coped better than they could have expected and said his teams were “consistently busy” but never “overwhelmed”.

He told the Belfast Telegraph it was NIE’s expectation that power would be restored to the majority of customers by midnight on Tuesday.

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According to the Met Office, Orlock Head in Co Down  recorded 76 mph, the second highest gust across the UK, while Magilligan in Londonderry saw the third highest wind gust in the UK at 71 mph.

The strong winds and rain in Co Down saw Silverbay caravan park hit particularly badly, with one caravan wrote off as a result of damage done by the storm.

Caravan park manager Mark Gowan said the scene during the morning was “like the Wizard of Oz” with furniture and other debris blown around the park.

He said the weather is the worst the park has seen “in quite a while”.

"I’ve been up to my eyes with it today,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

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Damage done to one caravan at Silverbay Caravan Park Credit: Silverbay

Damage done to one caravan at Silverbay Caravan Park Credit: Silverbay

Damage done to one caravan at Silverbay Caravan Park Credit: Silverbay

“There were three big wheelie bins that were blown into the sea and we had to trail them back again, they are quite expensive.

"It has been ongoing all day. That is the caravan wrote off, it’s actually quite an old caravan. It has had half a roof ripped off. The ferocity of rain we got has come inside and soaked and wrecked the inside of his caravan as well.”

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Storm Barra battered Donaghadee today, Tuesday 7th December, 2021. (Photo by Graham Baalham-Curry for Belfast Telegraph)

Storm Barra battered Donaghadee today, Tuesday 7th December, 2021. (Photo by Graham Baalham-Curry for Belfast Telegraph)

PACEMAKER PRESS  BELFAST 07/12/2021
Heavy winds hits Whitehead in Co Antrim on Tuesday.
Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. More than 1,000 customers are without power due to damage to the network, according to NI Electricity.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/12/2021 Heavy winds hits Whitehead in Co Antrim on Tuesday. Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. More than 1,000 customers are without power due to damage to the network, according to NI Electricity. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Storm Barra battered Donaghadee today, Tuesday 7th December, 2021. (Photo by Graham Baalham-Curry for Belfast Telegraph)

Storm Barra battered Donaghadee today, Tuesday 7th December, 2021. (Photo by Graham Baalham-Curry for Belfast Telegraph)

Storm Barra battered Donaghadee today, Tuesday 7th December, 2021. Bangor Coastguard closed a road leading to the town’s famous lighthouse, whilst also placing sand bags at the doors or homes and businesses. Redevelopment of the play park on Lemon’s Warf was halted due to machinery and equipment being partially submerged. The force of the waves crashing over the sea defence was enough to move bins, large planters and even cars. (Photo by Graham Baalham-Curry for Belfast Telegraph)

Storm Barra battered Donaghadee today, Tuesday 7th December, 2021. Bangor Coastguard closed a road leading to the town’s famous lighthouse, whilst also placing sand bags at the doors or homes and businesses. Redevelopment of the play park on Lemon’s Warf was halted due to machinery and equipment being partially submerged. The force of the waves crashing over the sea defence was enough to move bins, large planters and even cars. (Photo by Graham Baalham-Curry for Belfast Telegraph)

Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. More than 1,000 customers are without power due to damage to the network, according to NI Electricity. Motorists are advised that Troopers Lane in Carrickfergus has been closed from the train station to the junction with the Old Shore Road due to a fallen tree. Please exercise caution in the area. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. More than 1,000 customers are without power due to damage to the network, according to NI Electricity. Motorists are advised that Troopers Lane in Carrickfergus has been closed from the train station to the junction with the Old Shore Road due to a fallen tree. Please exercise caution in the area. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

More than 1,000 customers are without power due to damage to the network, according to NI Electricity. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

More than 1,000 customers are without power due to damage to the network, according to NI Electricity. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Heavy winds hits Whitehead in Co Antrim on Tuesday.Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Heavy winds hits Whitehead in Co Antrim on Tuesday.Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Heavy winds hits Whitehead in Co Antrim on Tuesday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Heavy winds hits Whitehead in Co Antrim on Tuesday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Storm Barra Batters Carrickfergus Coast Line. Photo: Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker

Storm Barra Batters Carrickfergus Coast Line. Photo: Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker

Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

A red warning remains in place for parts of the south-west of the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker

A red warning remains in place for parts of the south-west of the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker

Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland, with a yellow weather warning in place until 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

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Storm Barra battered Donaghadee today, Tuesday 7th December, 2021. (Photo by Graham Baalham-Curry for Belfast Telegraph)

Driving conditions are still proving treacherous around the Co Antrim and Co Down coast.

The Rostrevor Road in Warrenpoint is closed with dramatic footage on social media showing waves breaching the coast wall and spraying water over passing cars.

Rostrevor Road closed 13.05

Posted by Newry&mourne traffic alert on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Police said the Portaferry Road in Newtownards is also closed between its junctions with Mountstewart Road and Finlay Road due to high waves.

There are also reports of a number of fallen trees on the road and elsewhere across Northern Ireland.

The ferocity of the storm also brought significant damage to Ballywalter Harbour, with a large crack having formed.

Police Causeway Coast & Glens posted an image of a car on its roof warning that "the weather getting worse and wind speeds increasing please take extra care whilst using the roads.”

"This driver was very lucky to walk away from this accident this morning without any serious or life changing injuries. This occurred on the Cushendall Road, Ballycastle,” they posted.

“There is a high amount of debris, bins, trees, branches and standing water on the roads today so please take your time, and pay attention to the road and your surroundings.

“Please also take care when out walking scenic routes such as cliff paths and coastline paths. Your life is not worth the risk!

“Think safe, Drive Safe and Stay Safe!”

⚠️ SEVERE WEATHER WARNING ⚠️ With the weather getting worse and wind speeds increasing please take extra care whilst...

Posted by Police Causeway Coast & Glens on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Snowfall arrived in Fermanagh as Storm Barra made landfall in Northern Ireland.

Photographer Tom Gilroy shared a picture of a snow-covered landscape in Boho, County Fermanagh, at around 9am on Tuesday morning.

He tweeted: "Woke up to the white stuff in Boho be careful on the roads."

Stena Line has cancelled four ferries from Belfast to Cairnryan due to stormy conditions. 

The Department of Infrastructure has advised motorists to take extra care, especially around coasts of Down and Antrim where some large overtopping waves could bring disruption.

Road users are urged to take care on the Millisle Road in Donaghadee as a fallen tree has blocked both lanes near the old police station.

Stewart Dickson MLA has also tweeted that Storm Barra has felled the Stormont Christmas tree.

Parks are also closed at popular walking sites on Tuesday due to the high winds.

Connswater Community Greenway said: "Due to high winds and heavy rains expected tomorrow [Tuesday] as a result of #StormBarra, Victoria Park will be closed as a precaution.

"We will endeavour to keep you updated and apologise for any inconvenience - the safety of our users is paramount."

Botanic Gardens in Belfast is also closed, with the festive Bright Lights Botanic trail to be shut for the evening.

The National Trust has also closed car parks on Tuesday at Murlough Nature Reserve outside Newcastle “due to the forecast of high winds.”

Belfast International Airport has advised that there may be disruption to flights and are urging those travelling today to contact their airline.

In the Republic of Ireland, schools, colleges and creches in some of the worst affected areas will remain closed in Ireland on Wednesday.

Covid-19 test and vaccination centres will also remain closed in some parts of the country.
Met Eireann has warned that disruption to travel and the power supply are likely, along with coastal flooding.

Flights are also cancelled from Cork airport.


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