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80,000 premises without power and bus and rail services disrupted as storm sweeps Ireland

The latest on Storm Debi as it moves across the country.

Main points

  • More than 80,000 homes and businesses are without power
  • Humanitarian assistance scheme extended to business premises and families in Co Galway affected by Storm Debi.
  • Red weather warnings were in place for 10 counties until 7am and 9am. Status red wind warnings were in place for east Galway, Roscommon, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Offaly and Westmeath
  • A status orange wind warning was in place for Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, Roscommon until 9.30am. A status yellow wind and rain warning is currently in place for all of Ireland until 3pm.
  • Met Éireann is warning of a “potential danger to life” due to powerful wind gusts from Storm Debi.
  • Schools and preschools in 20 counties where status red and orange wind alerts were in place have been told not to open until 10am
  • Gusts of 115km/h have been recorded overnight in Athenry
  • There are multiple reports of trees falling on roads across the country
  • Met Éireann said the storm was likely to be “short and sharp” and track over the country quite quickly and advised people to try to “sit it out”.
  • The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management said Storm Debi had dangerous features and would cause “extremely hazardous” conditions in coastal areas and has advised people to work from home where possible.
  • If you have any observations, photographs or comments, you can contact Ronan McGreevy at ronan.mcgreevy@irishtimes.com.

Public transport

  • Bus Éireann will not operate school transport this morning in counties that have red and orange warnings
  • No Luas services will operate until after 10am
  • Iarnród Éireann has imposed a nationwide speed restriction of 80km/h (50m/h) which will result in service delays
  • Lengthy delays are expected across the transport network on Monday, including at ports and airports

The sheer speed and severity of Storm Debi left home and business owners in Oranmore in Galway with little or no time to protect their properties overnight, according to locals.

The village took the brunt of last night’s storm, with surging tides and strong winds damaging a number of homes and businesses in the area. The sudden storm surge also tore through a 100m long section of the seawall on the coast road between Oranmore and Galway.

A large section of a seawall also collapsed south of the village, between Oranmore and Renville, and driving conditions in the area remain extremely dangerous.

Emergency services and members of the local community began the clean-up operation this morning, but it is expected to be some time before all the damage can be repaired. You can read the story from Andrew Hamilton here. Storm Debi: ‘It’s like there was a tornado . . . it’s carnage, the stock is destroyed’ – The Irish Times

The National Directorate for Emergency and Fire Management (NDFEM) called a further National Emergency Coordination Group meeting this morning in the wake of Storm Debi.

Met Éireann advise that storm Debi has now moved off into the Irish Sea. A Status Yellow rain and wind warning remains in effect for all of Ireland. River levels are running high, particularly in the Connaught, Shannon region, Donegal and Cavan.

Local authorities, who are the lead agency for the response to severe weather events on the ground, have activated their crisis management teams and local coordination groups and are responding to any disruption caused by Storm Debi – including restoring road networks following any weather disruption.

In particular, there has been significant flooding in Galway city and local response teams are dealing with the impacts. Department of Social Protection and Department of Enterprise supports are being made available for households and businesses directly impacted.

There have been some power outages across the country. Customers can check estimated restoration times or report an outage on Powercheck.ie. Safety of public and crews is critical. ESB Networks will be making safe any faults which occur throughout the day and restoring supply remotely and on site when safe to do so. At 10.30am this morning, 80,000 customers remained without supply (down from 100,000 earlier) and it is expected that power will be restored to most homes throughout the day

It seems there are still people who don’t put the trampolines away in stormy weather.

Fairyhouse race meeting called off:

The chasing debut of the exciting Gaelic Warrior has been put on temporary hold with the meeting at Fairyhouse on Tuesday called off due to waterlogging.

Willie Mullins had chosen the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase CLG Beginners Chase as the starting point for Gaelic Warrior’s new discipline but torrential rain overnight has left the course unraceable.

Brendan Sheridan, clerk of the course at Fairyhouse said: “Following 20mm of rain overnight, which was more rain than was originally forecast for Fairyhouse, the track is now unfit for racing and the fixture scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled.

“We needed the rainfall to come up short of what was forecast but unfortunately we got slightly more and the track will not be raceable in time for tomorrow due to that volume of rain on ground that was already soft, heavy in places.

“We will liaise with Horse Racing Ireland about the possibility of rescheduling the fixture.” – PA

Some storm trivia from PA:

Storm Debi marks the earliest point in a storm season the letter D has been reached in the alphabet.

Storm seasons run from the start of September to the end of the following August.

Met Éireann and the UK Met Office jointly began naming storms in 2015.

Before 2023, the earliest month in which the letter D had been reached was December, which happened in 2015 (Desmond), 2017 (Dylan) and 2018 (Deirdre).

The named storms in this year’s season so far are Agnes (September 2023), Babet (October), Ciaran (November) and now Debi.

The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, has confirmed the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is available to provide support to those living in properties directly affected by flooding in Co Galway following severe weather conditions.

The scheme will also be extended to other affected areas as required.

The scheme aims to prevent hardship by providing income-tested financial support to people whose homes are damaged from flooding and severe weather events and who are unable to meet costs for essential needs, household items and structural repair.

“I’m very conscious of the serious disruption that severe weather and flooding is causing for individuals and families in Co Galway, especially in Oranmore and parts of Galway City,” she said.

“The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is open and support is available. I recently secured a further €3 million in funding for the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme administered by my department.”

Scheme supports:

  • €30,000 to €50,000 for a single person
  • €50,000 to €90,000 for a couple
  • €10,000 to €15,000 per dependant child

Here is the latest statement from ESB Networks: Storm force winds associated with Storm Debi has caused considerable damage to the electricity network overnight, predominantly in the West, Midwest, Midlands and Northeast. The damage is mainly attributable to lightning and fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds.

As of 10.30am, 80,000 homes, farms and businesses are without power. Most impacted counties include Galway, Roscommon, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Louth. At 7.45am this morning, approximately 100,000 customers were without electricity.

All available resources are now deployed as Storm Debi clears the country and ESB Networks crews are currently in the process of assessing damage, making the network safe and repairing electricity supply where safe to do so.

Crews expect to restore power to the majority of impacted customers through today Monday. However, due to the scale of the damage to the electricity network, some customers in localised areas will remain without supply overnight.

Real-time updates on power restoration times are available on www.powercheck.ie and www.esbnetworks.ie.

Jessica Thompson reports from Co Longford:

A number of people living in the Cam area of Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, are currently trapped in their cul de sac due to fallen trees that have blocked the exit route from their houses.

More than 10,000 homes in the county have been left without power this morning following Storm Debi’s lashing the country last night.

Many schools remain closed, with power not expected to be restored until later in the day.

Longford County Council are working to remove a large number of fallen trees across the county this morning, with many roads impassable.

The N55 is partially blocked at Carrickboy on the Ballymahon side. Not far away from that, the Legan-to-Listreena road is blocked.

A tree has come down at the top of the Castlepollard road going into Edgeworthstown, and there is a lot of debris on N4 between Longford and Edgeworthstown.

There is a tree down on the Mullingar Road, on the Ballymahon side of Centre Parcs, but the road is passable on R392. A tree blocking Mullingar side of Rathconrath is not passable on R392.

Rathaspic Road, at Rathowen, is blocked just beyond the graveyard, and and the Lisryan-to-Edgeworthstown road has a tree blocking the road.

If you are reporting a power outage, you need to do so on ESB Networks. Here’s the link. https://www.esbnetworks.ie/power-outages/report-a-power-outage

Gardaí in Dublin have no reports of any major incidents nationwide outside Co Galway, which appears to be the worst-affected place.

A spokesperson for the Shannon Airport Group has said that Shannon Airport is fully operational today and operating its normal schedule. “Our transatlantic flights landed earlier this morning at Shannon from Boston and JFK. The JFK service was slight delayed due to a planned delayed departure. All other services are expected to operate to schedule, but passengers should check with their airlines in case of delays at other airports internationally. Shannon Airport is available to take diversions from other airports if required.”

Following the issuing of an updated red weather warning for many counties for early tomorrow morning,

  • Court buildings in the counties affected by any red weather warning will remain closed for the duration of the warning.
  • Courts will not sit before 11.30am in the counties impacted by the red warning.
  • Court users will be informed of these and any other updates via the courts.ie website and the Courts Service’s Twitter/X account.

Red Weather Alert – Galway City Local Update:

(Monday 13.11.2023 8:10am) The Local Coordination Group (Galway City Council, HSE, An Garda Síochána and Fire Service) met again at 7:00am on Monday 13 November to review the current status following severe weather/ Storm Debi Red Alert.

Met Éireann extended the Red Alert to 7am overnight.

Galway City Council Crews have commenced review of impacts and will attend to property and homeowners in the affected areas.

A number of properties have been flooded as a result of high winds, high waves and high surge that corresponded with the high tide overnight in Galway Bay.

Galway City Council will provide assistance where required to affected property owners.

For anyone that needs assistance, Galway City Council can be contacted at 091 536 400.

Roads are currently flooded/ impassible on:

  • Flood Street
  • Long Walk
  • Spanish arch
  • Dominick Street (around Pump Lane)
  • Seapoint to Business School
  • Toft Park
  • Salthill car park
  • Rockbarton Road West beside Salthill Hotel
  • Rockbarton Road North beside Leisureland
  • Promenade – at Coco Café
  • Bothar na dTreabh (midway between Tuam Road/ Menlo Park junction) is down to one lane
  • Mutton Island entrance (Grattan Road) to fire station
  • Galway Technical Institute (GTI) on Fr Griffin Road, to Wolfe Tone Bridge and outside the fire station

Other alerts:

  • Dominick Street – reports of debris on the road
  • Riverside – Reports of tree down
  • Silverstrand – reports of large rocks thrown up across the car park
  • Roscam – trees down

The following roads remain closed at this time:

  • Salthill – from the mini-roundabout at Threadneedle Road (R336)/ Upper Salthill Road, along Seapoint Promenade (R336) to Galway Business School.
  • Silverstrand Road
  • Rosshill Road – a section of the Rosshill Road along the forest area will be closed off to the public.
  • Ballyloughane Road (beach) remains open, but road users are advised to avoid the area until clean up operations are complete.
  • From Mutton Island entrance to the Fire Station is also closed.

Car parks at Salthill, Tofts, Sliverstrand, and Ballyloughane Road remain closed.

Sandbags:

Sandbags have been placed at following locations for the public overnight:

  • Tourist Kiosk Salthill
  • Claddagh Hall
  • Fire Station Fr Burke Road
  • Spanish Arch
  • Docks beside the Pedestrian Crossing (St Nicholas Street)

Road users are requested to be alert to surface water and debris on roads.

Clean up operations will take place throughout the day.

The Local Coordination Centre will meet again at 10am this morning (13/11/2023), with further updates to issue.

There has been widespread damage in both Galway city and county, according to Gerry O’Malley, Galway’s chief fire officer.

Overtopping of waves have caused flooding Oranmore and Clarinbridge are the worst affected areas in the county.

The crews are getting out from first light. Council crews attended 10 incidents and rescued eight people.

There were three road traffic incidents.

“The worst of the storm is over, but the damage is done,” he said. There is a “huge amount of debris” on the road.

“I would ask the public to be patient. Our crews are getting to people.”

There are now more than 100,000 households without electricity, Brian Tapley from ESB Networks told Morning Ireland.

The worst affected areas are in north Galway and Co Longford. Crews have been out from first light.

He said it will be “late into the night” before all customers have their electricity restored.

He anticipated the “vast majority” of customers will be reconnected tonight.

Customers can track updates on powercheck.ie

Keith Leonard, of the National Emergency Coordination Group, told Morning Ireland:

There are a “huge amount of trees down” on the pathway of the storm. There are 58,000 homes without electricity and that’s expected to rise.

However, there has been little in the way of structural damage. It has been the most intense storm of the four that have occurred so far this storm season.

“I would advise people to be very careful for the rest of the day,” he said, as the wind will remain strong.

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is closed until 11am.

On Morning Ireland junior minister Patrick O’Donovan said local authorities have only started going out on the roads now where the red warning has been lifted. He urged motorists to avoid all unnecessary travel until the warning has passed. There are “literally tens of thousands” of homes without power at present. He said it was up to public transport operators to decide how safe it is for them to operate.

RTÉ’s forecast is for the storm to clear in the afternoon. There will be lingering wind and rain, but nothing like the storm that is now passing rapidly over the country. The weather will stay unsettled for the rest of the week.

Passengers travelling through Dublin Airport on Monday are being advised to keep in touch with their airlines after Storm Debi forced the cancellation of some flights and delayed others.

More than five flights into and out of the hub have been cancelled this morning, according to the Dublin Airport website, and more have been delayed due to high winds.

In a statement, Graeme McQueen, media relations manager for Dublin Airport operator DAA, said some transatlantic flights into Ireland had delayed their arrivals “to avoid the heart of the storm”, which may result in delays.

There may be knock-on effects for flights later in the day, Mr McQueen said, urging passengers to keep in touch with their airlines throughout the day.

Notice from Bus Éireann:

Bus Éireann Service disruption due to the arrival of Storm Debi on Monday, 13 November 2023

Due to the Red Weather warning there will be NO SCHEDULED SERVICES between 05:00am and 11:00am in the following areas. A phased resumption of services in these areas will commence from 11am and full details will be updated on our website:

  • Cavan
  • Dublin
  • Kildare
  • Laois
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghan
  • Offaly
  • Westmeath
  • Wicklow

DCU has cancelled all its lectures until midday.

Dublin City Council’s Crisis Management team met on Sunday night due to Storm Debi.

The council is advising that all commuters – including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and public transport users – take extreme care on the roads and to assess the risk of travel.

Non-essential council staff are to work remotely today (Monday), where possible, until 10am.

City Hall will remain closed until 10am as will all city libraries along with city parks sports and recreation facilities.

Council crews were on standby overnight and will be again on Monday to assess any damage caused as a result of the storm and to carry out repairs.

The council’s crisis management team will reconvene this morning.

Seamus Mulconry, general secretary of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association, reiterated advice to parents not to bring their children to school before 10am, and to stay in touch with the school to make sure it’s safe to do so then.

The Department of Education last night issued advice to schools to stay closed until 10am.

Bus Éireann will not operate services this morning until 10am. Neither will Dublin Bus nor Luas. There is a speed restriction of 80km/h in place across the entire rail network.

More from Graeme McQueen: “Dublin Airport is open and operational this morning. As of 6.30am, four incoming and four outgoing flights between Dublin-Amsterdam and Dublin-London have been cancelled. Some disruption is possible today as a result of Storm Debi. Passengers are advised to contact their airline for updates on specific flights.

“Passengers travelling to and from Dublin Airport are advised to take extra care this morning. With some bus services not running until after 9am, passengers may need to consider an alternate option. Parking spaces are available in our car parks at Dublin Airport and, so far this morning, taxis are in good supply.”

Graham McQueen, media relations manager with DAA, said that some transatlantic flights into Ireland had delayed their arrivals to avoid the heart of the storm. This may result in some delays. He advised intending passengers to keep in touch with their airlines, as there may be knock-on effects on flights later in the day. No issues had been reported in Cork airport.

Barry Kenny, communications manager of Irish Rail, warned commuters they could expect some quite significant delays this morning, but no services have been cancelled so far. An 80km/h restriction is in place across the rail network this morning.

Services are delayed between Athlone and Portarlington due to fallen trees, and trees down in Edgeworthstown and Longford are also delaying services. Mr Kenny said crews have been out clearing lines since early this morning.

So, where are we?

Well storm Debi is passing quickly over the country and reports of damage are and disruption are starting to emerge.



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