Belfast Telegraph

Storm Emily's 80mph winds could disrupt Northern Ireland power supplies and transport again

Severe gale force winds to sweep in on Wednesday night, weather forecasters predict

By Claire Cromie

Storm Emily is set to hit parts of Northern Ireland on Wednesday night, bringing gale force winds of up to 80mph.

The Met Office has issued an Amber weather warning and said we could be in for more power cuts and transport disruption.

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has warned of a possibility of damage to the electricity network, especially in exposed northern and eastern locations.

A swathe of storm force winds is set to move in from the Atlantic and progress northwards with time, perhaps clipping the far north of Northern Ireland before moving to Scotland.

The Wednesday afternoon rush hour is predicted to be affected by a period of heavy rain.

Gusts of 70 to 80mph are expected to follow later in the evening, battering Counties Londonderry, Antrim and possibly parts of Tyrone.

The Met Office said the storm has the potential to bring some significant disruption: "Such winds will lead to very large waves with some coastal over-topping likely. Some heavy rain is also expected.

"The rain and the strongest winds will clear early on Thursday, giving way to blustery and wintry showers."

In the Republic of Ireland, Met Éireann has issued its highest level of warning for the north west counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Galway and Mayo.

The weather system has been named Storm Emily after Emily Brontë, the author who died on December 19, 165 years ago, and who wrote Wuthering Heights which featured constant stormy weather.

NIE says it has initiated an escalation plan and has emergency crews, engineers and call handlers on stand-by.

Customers who lose electricity supplies should contact 08457 643 643 or report it online at Updates will be posted on @NIElectricity.

Earlier this month 30,000 homes across Northern Ireland were left without power when high winds tore down electricity poles.

There was travel chaos as flights were delayed, sailings cancelled and numerous roads closed due to falling trees. The Christmas Market at Belfast City Hall was closed due to safety concerns.

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

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