Storm Isha leaves thousands of people without power


Storm Isha leaves thousands of people without power

A yellow weather warning remains in place this morning covering the entire country

Thousands of people have been left without power as Storm Isha brought disruption to the electricity and transport networks across the UK.

The entire country was subject to wind warnings issued by the Met Office as gusts topped 90mph in places.

ESB Networks reported more than 170,000 properties in Ireland were without power while Electricity North West said crews had been stood down due to the conditions with almost 8,000 homes losing power.

The company said expected restoration times had been pushed back to 5pm on Tuesday.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks said hundreds of extra staff had been brought in and incident centres opened after around 45,000 customers had been left without power, many of them overnight.

Fallen trees have affected transport with Traffic Scotland reporting stretches of the M9 and M74 were among roads closed throughout the night, while the A1 southbound was closed at Thorntonloch due to an overturned lorry.

High winds forced the closure of the Tay Road Bridge, M48 Severn Bridge and the A66 in Durham and Cumbria between the A1(M) and the M6, while the Humber Bridge, A19 Tees Flyover and A628 Woodhead Pass in Derbyshire were among stretches closed to high-sided vehicles.

Network Rail imposed 50mph speed restrictions across most routes to keep passengers and trains safe from falling trees and debris blown onto tracks.

In a statement the company said: “It’s likely that travel disruption will continue into Monday morning as engineers finish the clean-up operation removing fallen trees and debris and running ‘ghost trains’ to ensure lines are clear before allowing passenger trains to restart.”

Scot Rail cancelled all of its rush-hour trains and services may not begin running until “later on Monday”. They said teams will begin recovery works during daylight with each route being inspected for damage.

Network Rail Scotland said the remains of a garden shed had been blown onto the line at Bellgrove station in Glasgow and a small fire had broken out after a tree fell on overhead wires in Gartcosh, Cumbernauld.

They said no trains will run in Scotland until all routes had been inspected and repaired with overhead wire damage in at least 20 locations. The company said “reopening Scotland’s Railway is going to be a challenge”.

At least 10 trees fell on the line between Garrowhill and Easterhouse near Glasgow and damaged overhead lines with Network Rail Scotland saying it will take several hours to repair.

They said a wall and fence has blown onto the line at Glasgow Queen Street while the River Tay breached safety limits at the Dalguise Viaduct on the Highland Mainline, forcing their overnight watchperson to abandon the site.

East Midlands Railway has said delays and alterations to its services were “likely”, while no LNER trains will run north of Newcastle until midday.

Avanti West Coast warned of changes and delays on Monday and said no passengers should attempt to travel between Preston and Scotland until services are due to resume at 9am.

Meanwhile, air traffic control restrictions were in place, leading to flight cancellations and causing some planes to divert.

A flight travelling from Sharm El Sheikh to Glasgow Airport declared an emergency due to Storm Isha.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Airport said the TUI flight was “diverted to Manchester due to current weather conditions”.

National Air Traffic Services told PA: “Due to adverse weather conditions across the UK, temporary air traffic restrictions are in place. Restrictions of this sort are only every applied to maintain safety.

“Our teams are working closely with airports and airlines to minimise disruption. Passengers should check the status of their flight with their airline.”

Agencies across Cumbria declared themselves on standby for a major incident, with Sellafield nuclear site closing as a precaution on Sunday.

Someone was struck by falling debris after scaffolding became dislodged in Belfast. They were treated at the scene by emergency services.

The Met Office said the highest recorded wind speed during Storm Isha was 99mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland with gusts of 90mph at Capel Curig in Snowdonia on Sunday.

A red warning for wind in northeast Scotland was in place until 5am on Monday with amber warnings covering much of the UK until 6am and further yellow warnings covering the entire country until noon.

A further yellow warning for wind for Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and northern England is active from 4pm on Tuesday until noon on Wednesday.

The Met Office said “everybody” has been affected by the storm.

Heavy downpours battered some places, with 28 flood warnings in place in England and 50 in Scotland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the weather was putting “significant pressure” on the 999 system and urged people to report non-emergencies online or by calling 101.

Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said many roads across Northern Ireland remain impassable on Monday morning.

He said in a statement: “Between 3.30pm on Sunday, 21st January and 2am on Monday, 22nd January, officers dealt with over 1,300 calls from the public, approximately 600 of these related to the storm.

“There is also a continued risk of significant debris on the road network as wind speeds remain high throughout Monday.

“A multi-agency response continues to deal with the aftermath and recovery from Storm Isha, and we thank the public for their continued patience and understanding.”

The sailing of a Stena Line ferry from Belfast to Birkenhead, due to arrive at 6.30pm on Sunday was delayed until at least 7.30am on Monday.

The Met Office said Storm Isha – the ninth named storm to hit the UK since the season began in September – is expected to pull away through the day, although it is expected to remain windy with a mixture of sunny spells and scattered showers.

Showers are expected to be heaviest and most frequent in the north and west on Monday, but easing with a dry night except in the north west and winds also easing.

A bright start to Tuesday will see cloud and rain moving in from the west and winds increasing with severe gales possible.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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