UPDATE: 186,000 homes without power as Storm Ali batters Atlantic coastal counties
17 counties in Ireland are under some form of weather warning.
The strong winds and heavy gusts that were promised by this week's Storm Ali have well and truly made their presence known by leaving 186,000 homes and businesses without power. The figure had originally been set at 55,000.
ESB Networks confirmed the news, mentioning that "farms and businesses are without power this morning, primarily in the southwest of the country. The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds."
"Crews are mobilised and are working towards restoring power to all impacted families over the course of today, Wednesday," the statement reads.
A Status Orange wind warning is in effect for more than half the country due to the storm, and the west of the country is suffering in terms of power outages.
ESB has confirmed that over 186,000 customers are without power, with the areas worst affected areas being Kerry, Killarney, Thurles, Galway, Sligo, Cork, Clare, Galway and Roscommon.
STORM ALI Update : We currently have 186,000 customers without power. Our crews are continuing to restore power to those affected . Click here for latest updates https://t.co/Y62EmfG7jS.
For emergencies call 1850 372 999 or 021 238 2410 pic.twitter.com/yhDSlHr41N
— ESB Networks (@ESBNetworks) September 19, 2018
Crews have been sent to repair faults but will work on repairs when it is safe to do so. In the meanwhile, they ask customers not to touch or go near damaged lines should they see then, instead, ring them immediately on 1850 372 999.
Those who are keen to check their area for outages can do so here.
A number of flights have also been cancelled.
At the time of writing, the majority of the cancelled flights appear to be between Ireland and the UK, with some additional flights (specifically arrivals) from mainland Europe also cancelled on Wednesday morning.
High winds due to #StormAli will have an impact on the flight schedule today. Some flights already cancelled. Please check with your airline before coming to the airport. Departures info here https://t.co/2bD7lEWGaJ. Arrivals info here https://t.co/ckiUMjBwFf. pic.twitter.com/bPgNBTFqAv
— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) September 19, 2018
Storm has battered the Atlantic coastal counties on Wednesday morning and is forecast to move quickly eastwards, affecting Dublin just before midday.
Strongest gusts to 7:30am (km/h):
130 Mace Head (Galway)
107 Belmullet (Mayo)
106 Newport (Mayo)
106 Valentia (Kerry)
93 Roches Point (Cork)
82 Casement (Dublin)
65 Shannon pic.twitter.com/IMC0P6TZbi
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) September 19, 2018
The National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Co Offaly, has had to put back its opening from 9am to 11am on Wednesday as a result of the storm passing through the Midlands.
Met Éireann has issued a status orange wind warning for Connacht and counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Clare and Kerry with gusts of between 110km/h and 130km/h expected.
The Orange alert will remain in place until 1pm on Wednesday afternoon while the less extreme Yellow warning will be lifted at 5pm that afternoon.
Main image via @ESBNetworks