Sunday, June 16, 2024
GeneralDistrict on guard for further storm chaos

District on guard for further storm chaos

LOCALS are expected to wake up to further storm disruption this morning.

Just 48 hours after Storm Isha wreaked havoc across the country on Sunday night, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power, Storm Jocelyn made her presence felt yesterday, sweeping in from the Atlantic.

With the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning for this storm, which made landfall yesterday afternoon, the advisory notice is due to run out around lunchtime today when the winds should begin to ease.

Jocelyn – the 10th storm to be named since September – was predicted to have gusts reaching in excess of 60mph, some 16mph weaker than the gusts recorded at Killowen, near Rostrevor, late on Sunday and into Monday.

The storms arrived just days after icy Arctic blasts made their presence felt, with the mercury dropping to confirm sub-zero temperatures.

Fortunately, and despite large trees toppling on to some of the area’s busiest roads, there were no reported injuries.

However, at one stage the Police Service urged people to “exercise extreme caution” when on the roads.

It was also confirmed that between 3.30pm on Sunday and 2am the following morning, police officers dealt with over 1,300 calls from the public, of which approximately 600 were storm-related; whilst Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said it received 236 emergency calls on Sunday in relation to the storm and mobilised to 96 incidents.

Earlier in the week, the Department for Infrastructure said it had been a “very difficult” time, with more than 1,000 incidents reported, including 930 reports of fallen trees and branches.

Locally, road closures and diversions were in place in areas including Newcastle, Kilcoo, Ballynahinch and Saintfield, with ferocious gusts toppling mature trees, ripping slates off rooftops and damaging fencing.

At the peak of Storm Isha, some 53,000 of NIE Networks’ customers were without power and, with around 13,000 of these customers still without electricity on Monday night, it was predicted that restoring power could still take a number of days, and that Storm Jocelyn could hamper restoration efforts and potentially cause more damage.

In the aftermath of Isha, NIE Networks said Downpatrick was one of the worst affected areas but added that there “are faults throughout Northern Ireland”.

In the lead-up to the recent storms the district council, as a precautionary measure, closed Castlewellan, Delamont, Kilbroney, Slieve Gullion and Warrenpoint’s country and forest parks.

It also advised the public not to visit its play and outdoor recreational areas and to exercise extreme caution if visiting the coast, harbours and nature reserves, either in vehicles or on foot.

Power outages or any incidents of damage to the electricity network can be reported to the NIE Networks Customer Helpline on 03457 643 643.

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