Motorists warned to take care after Storm Gertrude hits Ireland

Update 4pm:The ESB says it hopes to have power restored to all those without supply by 9pm tonight.

Crews are working to bring electricity back to around 5,500 homes who lost power in Storm Gertrude last night.

Around 10,000 properties in all lost power during the peak of the storm.

Update 11.39am: The two weather warnings have now passed and Met Éireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe said conditions should improve this afternoon.

“Storm Gertrude has moved quickly away, it’s now to the west of Scandinavia,” she said.

“Winds are still very strong along the north and northwest coast and in parts of the north east, but they’re only gusting up to 100 km/h at the worst and they will abate during the morning.

“So a brightening picture - some nice sunshine with scattered showers around.

“It is going to turn cold tonight though, and there will be sleet and snow showers, particularly in the north and north west.”

Earlier: Motorists have been warned to watch out for fallen trees and debris after Storm Gertrude brought strong winds and heavy rain to all areas overnight.

Gusts of up to 130 kilometres per hour have been battering the country with the north, west and parts of the east coast worst affected.

Met Éireann has two weather warnings in place - a Status Yellow alert for the whole island, and an Status Orange warning for counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Longford, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

The warnings will remain in place until 9am this morning.

Two bridges in the north west – the Blaney and Foyle in Donegal and Derry - were closed due to the high winds.

AA Roadwatch carried a series of reports of trees down on roads across the country.

Thousands of homes and businesses across Ireland have been left without power.

Among the worst affected areas were Stranorlar in Co Donegal and Killeshandra in Co Cavan, where almost 3,000 properties suffered blackouts.

Outages were also reported in Wicklow, Westport, parts of Dublin, Athenry, Cong, Co Mayo, Roscommon, Limerick, Kerry and Wexford.

Forecaster David Rogers said that conditions should start to improve later today.

"Well the actual depression storm centre is several hundred miles to the north, north west of the country, and it'll be tracking more or less east north eastwards towards the Faroe Islands and the Norwegian Sea," he said last night.

"But the Storm itself has a wide breath of strong winds associated with it, and those winds will be south-westerly over the country."

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