Storm Eleanor: 'Real threat of further flooding' for south and southwest

Update 6.44pm: Communities along the south and southwest coasts are being warned about the risk of flooding from Storm Eleanor tonight and tomorrow.

The warning follows last night's severe flooding in Galway city.

Meanwhile, ESB Networks said most homes and businesses should have power restored by tonight.

The remnants of Storm Eleanor pounding the rocks at Garnish on the tip of the Beara Peninsula in Co. Cork. Picture: John Eagle

"Towns along south and south-west coasts remain at risk because of the arrival of strong winds allied with high tides," according to Chair of the National Emergency Coordination Group Sean Hogan.

This coupled with particular wind directions "poses a real threat of further flooding".

There is a status yellow wind warning for Munster, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow in place for tomorrow between 3am and 1pm.

It will see gusts of up to 110km/hr.

Update 5.23pm: Storm Eleanor: 6,500 homes and businesses without power, more floods and high winds expected

ESB has restored power to 148,000 customers who lost power during Storm Eleanor.

However, 6,500 homes and businesses remain without power.

ESB said 2,000 of these are from the original storm while high winds and lightning, mainly in the Midwest, resulted in the remaining 4,500 outages.

Damage to Doolin Pier, Co Clare. Photo: Press 22

"We expect that all but small pockets of ESB Networks customers will have their power restored this evening," it said.

Further outages are expected as high winds and rains are forecasted tomorrow.

Real time information on power outages and restoration times is available on the PowerCheck App or on ESBPowerCheck.ie

Update 4.55pm: Local authorities were warned about Storm Eleanor, says MurphyAll local authorities were given warnings about Storm Eleanor but it was up to them to warn the public, according to the Minister for Housing.

That’s according to the Housing Minister who attended the National Emergency Coordination Group earlier.

While attending the National Emergency Coordination Group earlier, Minister Eoghan Murphy was asked about criticism from some in Galway that they were not adequately prepared.

He said it was the responsibility of local authorities to work based on warnings provided to them.

"We have very sophisticated modelling techniques to look at different storm events as they come in, but we can't predict all of the vagueries of weather," he said.

"Sometimes things will happen that weren't predicted in the models. Warnings were given to local authorities by both my Department and Met Éireann," the Minister added.

"It is for local authorities then to work based on the warnings that are given. Sometimes, though, we won't be able to predict everything that has happened and, very unfortunately, a number of businesses have been hit in Galway.

"We are there now with the supports in place to help those businesses get back up and running," he said.

Update 3.52pm: Storm Eleanor: More floods and high winds expected on coasts as ESB work to restore power for 16,000

Authorities have warned of the possibility of localised coastal flooding in Atlantic counties over the next two days of high tides.

Rainfall amounts were predicted to be between 10-20mm countrywide, with Galway and Donegal possibly receiving amounts of 25-30mm in what is described as "packing showers".

There is another system of low pressure moving towards Ireland which is expected Wednesday into Thursday which is being monitored by Met Eireann.

Overall 150,000 homes, farms and businesses suffered a loss in electricity supply as a result of Storm Eleanor on Tuesday evening, predominantly in counties Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Galway, Cavan and Monaghan.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has activated its Humanitarian Assistance Scheme which is available to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding and who are not in a position to meet costs for essential needs, household items and in some instances structural repair.

Update - 12.49pm: People living along south and west coasts are being urged that further bad weather is forecast for tonight and tomorrow night which could cause flooding.

Up 16,000 homes are still without power, which the ESB hopes to restore by tonight, but high winds forecast for tonight might cause further outages.

The National Emergency Coordination Group has been meeting this morning, to discuss the response.

Its chair, Sean Hogan has some advice for people along the south and west coasts.

He said: "The message for people along the coast is you always need to take care in these conditions and close to the coast there are dangerous condition for pedestrians and motorists.

"People will have to have regard to the weather condisiotns wherever you are."

Pictured after a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) this morning in Dublin is Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy.

Meanwhile, in Cork the council is advising that there is a risk of flooding on Morrison’s Island, Union Quay, Wandesford Quay and Crosses Green in the city today.

Cork City Council said for people to be aware of the risk between 5.30pm and 7pm this evening, and between 6am and 8am tomorrow morning due to high tides, and potentially high winds.

Cork City Council will continue to monitor the situation.

12.10pm: 16,000 still without power as Storm Eleanor lashes the country

16,000 homes, farms and businesses that lost supply during Storm Eleanor remain without power this afternoon. ESB Networks has restored power to 134,000 customers overnight, and is continuing its efforts in wet and windy conditions.

Those still without power are mostly in counties Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Galway, Cavan and Monaghan.

ESB Networks says fallen trees on overhead lines were responsible for most of the damage to the network.

A further 5,000 customers lost supply this morning due to lightning and high winds, mostly in the midwest.

ESB Networks has said they are hopeful that all of those who lost power as a result of Storm Eleanor will be back online by tonight.

A man clears seaweed from drains on Salthill Promenade, Galway today. Picture: PA

More high winds are rain are expected tomorrow, and ESB Networks warned this make further outages likely.

ESB networks issued a warning to ay member of the public who may come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network to "never, ever touch or approach these as they are live and extremely dangerous. Please report any damage to electricity infrastructure by calling 1850 372 999."

Real time information on power outages and restoration times is available on the PowerCheck App.

Update - 10.39am: Storm Eleanor rips roof off Harland and Wolff factory building

A sizeable chunk of a factory roof at one of Northern Ireland's major businesses has been ripped off by Storm Eleanor.

The mammoth mobile building at Harland and Wolff (H&W) Heavy Industries in east Belfast was not in use at the time.

It was intended for painting projects, a spokesman for the company said.

H&W was once one of the world's leading shipbuilders - it built the Titanic - and currently focuses on offshore energy and steel fabrication.

The spokesman said the damage affected the outer skin of the roof.

The Harland and Wolff building swith its roof off. Pic via Paul Semple on Twitter.

9.29am: Storm Eleanor: Support announced for storm-hit businesses as crews work to restore power for 27,000

The number of homes and businesses still affected was estimated at 27,000 this morning.

ESB Networks operations manager Derek Hynes has said 10,000 were left without power in Co Mayo overnight.

Pictures from Galway city centre yesterday evening showed cars ploughing through high water and business owners struggling to protect their properties.

Rescuers waded through knee-high water.

One car bobbed in the high coastal waters and drivers attempted to reach safe ground.

Mini car driving through flood water in Salthill, Galway, last night. Pic via The Latin Quarter Galway

A meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group was due this morning.

An ESB statement said: "The number of customers out now stands at 27,000, with 10,000 of those customers in Mayo, the worst impacted county.

"ESB Networks teams have now restored power to 123,000 customers, and are working in difficult conditions to get the remaining customers still without power back by tonight.

"ESB Networks crews in less impacted areas are on the move this morning to the worst impacted counties."

They are being urged to report damage to the electricity network on 1850- 372-999.

People can also report power outages here.

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, has announced a scheme to provide emergency assistance for small businesses affected by flooding.

The scheme will cover businesses with up to 20 employees, sports clubs and community organisations unable to secure flood insurance.

Similar to previous flooding incidents, the scheme will be administered by the Irish Red Cross with the details being made available on their website shortly.

Minister Kehoe said "The Government has moved to have this scheme operational as quickly as possible and in a manner which is designed to be straight forward to best assist those who have been affected.

"The Irish Red Cross will administer and make payments under the scheme."

The scheme is a humanitarian support contribution towards the costs of returning business, sport and community premises to their pre-flood condition.

This will include the replacement of flooring, fixtures and fittings and damaged stock where relevant.

However the scheme will not provide a contribution to loss of earnings or loss of business good-will.

7.31am: Storm Eleanor: 27,000 still without power as storm 'will continue to pack a punch' today

27,000 ESB customers are still without power this morning after storm Eleanor hit yesterday.

There are reports of fallen trees and debris on many roads.

Met Eireann's Siobhán Ryan says we have not seen the last of storm Eleanor yet.

She said: "It will continue to pack a punch, particularly along the Atlantic coastline, and together with high tides and exceptionally high seas we are still going to see the ongoing risk of coastal damage and flooding.

"Damaging gusts are astill possible further inland where a Yellow Wind warning is operational up until 14.00 hours today."

In Galway, there are fears that high winds and high tides could cause more flooding in the city today.

The National Emergency Co-ordination Group will meet later to discuss the response to Storm Eleanor.

The Defence Forces say they have already sent a dozen soldiers to Galway to help.

Galway city councillor Pádraig Conneely says businesses are doing their best to prepare.

Some of the flooding in Galway overnight. Pic via Emma Hayward.

He said: "Now if there's going to be awind there, there's going to be a devastating effect. They are now desperate to get the sandbags and batten down the hatches."

The local council is being criticised for failing to prepare for Storm Eleanor.

The city was the worst affected by flooding caused by the storm.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection says its staff will be available from early this morning to support householders in areas like Galway.

Councillor Conneely says council officials could have done more.

He said: "It's one thing looking into a computer and sitting up in City Hall and watching it on a computer, the other thing is being on the ground.

"They don't seem to be on the ground, they weren't on the ground. People are very critical, can't get through to City Hall, can't get sandbags.

"The preparation didn't seem to be there."

Picture taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Michael Scott showing the floods in Galway.

6.22: Storm Eleanor: Around 55,000 without power as Ireland hit by high winds and floods

Met Éireann is warning that dangerous conditions and more coastal flooding is likely in the wake of Storm Eleanor.

Tens of thousands of people are still without power after high winds and coastal flooding caused chaos along the west coast.

The clean-up is continuing this morning after Storm Eleanor brought chaos, knocked out power to 55,000 people and caused severe damage.

Road users are being advised to watch out for fallen trees and surface water when travelling on roads this morning.

All Irish Rail routes are operating, following flooding on the Limerick to Ennis line and at Waterford station last night.

Aer Lingus has confirmed two flights between Dublin and London Heathrow, and another two between Cork and Heathrow have been cancelled today as the storm reaches the UK.

All passengers are advised to check with their airline before travelling.

Much of the worst damage is in Galway where several homes and businesses in the city centre were under water last night leaving homes and businesses under water and drivers stranded.

High tide brings the risk of more flooding this morning.

Flooding hit Galway city, Salthill, Oranmore and Clarinbridge as high tides combined with gales gusting to 130kmh during rush hour. Some cars were abandoned in Oranmore as roads were blocked while others in a car park in Salthill were partially submerged. Trees, branches and other flying debris were reported as having brought down power lines and poles.

ESB Networks said that counties worst affected included Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan.

Picture taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Emma Hayward showing the floods in Galway.

In Gort, Co Galway households were warned about potential disruption to water supplies after power cuts hit the local pumping station.

In Galway, streets around the docks were flooded after high tides breached defences and inundated the areas around the Spanish Arch, Claddagh, Dominick Street, Quay Street and nearby streets. Water was more than one foot deep in places.

The Coast Road from the city to Oranmore was also impassable at rush hour as high tide combined with the strong winds to cause local flooding. There were also reports of spot flooding on the N85 Ennis to Ennistymon road in Co Clare.

Irish Water said ESB crews were on site but it would take several hours to get supplies back up again.

"We ask customers in the Gort area who have a mains water supply to conserve their water until the electricity supply is restored and the pumping station is back in full production," said a spokeswoman.

Picture taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @gneote showing the River Shannon bursting its banks at Bishops Quay, Limerick.

ESB Networks said its crews were working to get people reconnected "where it is safe to do so".

"Aiming to restore as many customers as possible tonight, they will deploy again before first light tomorrow," a spokesman said.

"Further damage to the electricity network can be expected in north Leinster as the storm tracks east. Fallen trees on overhead lines are responsible for most of the damage to the network."

Met Éireann is appealing to the public to remain vigilant with exceptionally high seas and a Status Orange wind warning in place along all western coastal counties until 2pm this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Government's National Emergency Co-Ordination Group will meet to discuss the impact of the storm later.

In Northern Ireland about 21,000 customers, mainly across the border counties, were facing cuts to electricity supplies for the a night.

NI Electricity said the number of reported power outages will increase through the night.

Julia Carson, NIE Networks communications manager, said: "We advise customers to keep mobile phones charged and have batteries available for torches in case they experience power cuts.

"NIE Networks will be working into the night to do all that we can to restore electricity supplies to our customers as quickly and safely as we can.

"Safety is paramount and there are some areas where the high wind speeds may impact on our ability to assess the damage and carry out repairs."


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