Belfast Telegraph

Thousands still left without power as Storm Hector wreaks havoc across Northern Ireland

By Donna Deeney

Storm Hector may have left the shores of Northern Ireland but it left a trail of destruction in its wake.

The strongest gusts ever recorded during June in the province caused travel disruption and left thousands of households without power.

Fallen trees blocked roads in many parts of Londonderry and Limavady, while heavy branches snapped like twigs and lay strewn across footpaths and gardens.

More than 23,000 households here suffered disrupted electricity supply and over 300 incidents of weather-related damage to the network were recorded, including broken lines and poles.

Around 2,000 homes across the Waterside area of Derry were without power for several hours.

Storm Hector saw strong winds of 50-75mph batter Ireland overnight.

Orlock Head in Co Down was buffeted by 74mph winds at 7am yesterday, the Met Office said.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said it received 15 weather-related calls during the storm.

Between 6pm on Wednesday and 11.15am yesterday, NIFRS crews responded to five of these calls, three in the western area, one in the northern area and one in the southern area.

Four of these were described as making property safe while one was a false alarm due to a power failure.

Northern Ireland Electricity said that by noon yesterday, more than 19,000 customers had their power restored, with 4,000 remaining without.

Roads in Bangor, Dungannon, Gilford and Lurgan were closed by fallen trees or debris.

Belfast Harbour said two cruise ships, the Nautica and the Eclipse, were unable to berth due to the conditions caused by the storm.

A huge tree in Brooke Park in Derry was among those the storm uprooted, along with others near the flyover in the Bogside and Ballyarnett.

In Drumahoe, a number of trees blocked roads including one across the Glenshane Road at the Belfray Inn.

DUP Causeway Coast and Glens councillor Alan Robinson said: "There was a tree down and blocking Annaghloo Road.

"Branches were also down at Rossmar Special School, Drummond Hotel, Myroe Presbyterian Church and quite a few branches down in residential areas.

"One of the worst was at Springwell where a branch of around 30ft fell onto a resident's garden shed.

"But that must have been one well put together shed because it wasn't damaged by the branch, thankfully."

He added: "I have to pay tribute to the staff from the Roads Service who did a sterling job during the clear-up.

"Thankfully no one was hurt or injured during the storm and that is the most important thing."

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