Most homes set to have power restored
All but isolated pockets of the country were expected to have their electricity restored by this morning after Storm Callum whipped through the country yesterday.
Weather warnings were also downgraded yesterday, although severe conditions continued to cause damage as they swept across the country yesterday.
Gusts of 124km/h were recorded at Belmullet in Co Mayo yesterday morning as the storm battered the west of Ireland.
More than 60,000 homes and businesses were left without power across the country at its peak, although by yesterday evening that figure had been reduced to 5,000. A spokesman for the ESB said crews were continuing repair work and hoped to have power supply returned to the majority of those households by this morning. ESB reported multiple faults, with counties Cork, Kerry and Donegal among the worst hit.
The operator issued a warning via Twitter for people to be careful if they come across any fallen trees and to be aware that there may also be downed power cables. In a statement it said: “In what are now relatively calm conditions, ESB Networks urges the public to remain vigilant when out and about.”
Several flights were cancelled out of Dublin and Belfast due to the storm yesterday morning, but airports were otherwise operating as normal.
An orange weather alert remained in place until 5pm yesterday for counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo, but Met Eireann lifted the warning for the rest of Ireland yesterday morning.
An orange warning had been in place for all coastal counties across the Republic and Met Éireann had earlier warned of potential risk to life and property.
The National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) met in Dublin yesterday morning to review the storm’s impact and to co-ordinate any necessary response.
In a statement, the NECG said Storm Callum had made its way across the country as forecast by Met Éireann with the worst of the storm affecting the west coast.
“Fortunately it did not hit in all areas as hard as it could have, resulting in minimal disruption,” the statement said.
The group said that even though the worst of the storm had passed, people should still stay away from coastal areas for the duration of the orange warning.
They advised motorists not to drive through flooded areas and to anticipate strong cross-winds and other hazards such as falling or fallen trees.
In Galway, the local authority had put flood gates in place in Salthill and an 80-metre portable dam was installed at Spanish Arch.
The NECG was widely criticised for failing to implement a red warning alert during Storm Ali. Two people died in that storm last month.
The Green Party in Cork said ordinary people are being left to pick up the cost from government inaction on climate change. The call follows a mudslide at Carrigaloe near Cobh yesterday morning, which threatened to cut off the island, caused by Storm Callum.
The party’s Cobh representative, Susan Lanigan, said: “This is one local disruption due to unseasonal weather patterns which is now being cleared. Yet again it happened on the main route to the ferry and the mainland. But it’s not just one thing. It’s every felled tree blocking roads, every flood-related damage report, every site closure due to high winds — the effect is cumulative. It goes on and on and on.
“If the central government had any sort of plan to combat climate change, it might save us money in the long run. But they are scandalously neglecting their duty and events like this are only the beginning of what we shall face going forward thanks to their Emperor Nero attitude.”