Northern Ireland

Storm Eleanor: Warning for wind gusts of 80-90mph

Tree down Malone Road Image copyright Jonny Corkey
Image caption A tree blocks part of the Malone Road in south Belfast

The police have warned people not to travel "unless it is absolutely necessary" as Storm Eleanor strikes Northern Ireland.

NIE Networks has said 12,800 homes are now without electricity, with southern counties the worst affected.

A number of roads have been closed or partially closed by fallen trees, particularly in counties Armagh and Fermanagh, as well as Belfast.

Three Irish Premiership football matches were abandoned.

Image copyright Adrian Mullan
Image caption Trees down in Fortwilliam Park, north Belfast

An amber wind warning, valid from 19:30 GMT on Tuesday, is in place for much of Northern Ireland.

Storm Eleanor to bring winds of up to 80mph

The Met Office warned that peak gusts of 80-90mph were possible, especially along exposed parts of the east coast as the storm passes.

A gust of 90mph was recorded at Orlock Head in County Down.

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Media captionFallen trees block some roads as Storm Eleanor lashes Northern Ireland.

It said flying debris could lead to injuries or danger to life, while some damage to buildings is likely.

In a tweet posted at 20:00 GMT, the PSNI said: "Winds are beginning to pick up. Please do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary. If you have to travel drive carefully and be aware of road conditions."

A number of trees are down on roads in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon areas, one of which is blocking a lane of the A1 near the Outlet shopping centre.

An electric pole has been brought down at Annagh Bridge in Portadown and an electric cable on the Old Newry Road in Banbridge.

Image copyright John Stewart
Image caption The back windscreen of East Antrim assembly member John Stewart's car was smashed by flying roof tiles

There are reports of 20 to 30 trees down on the road network in County Fermanagh, according to Trafficwatch NI.

At one stage on Tuesday night, more than 20,000 homes were without power.

All three Danske Bank Irish Premiership football matches being played on Tuesday night were abandoned at half-time.

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Media captionThere is serious flooding in Galway city centre

In south Belfast, homeowner Paul Pettigrew said that a tree on his property had fallen and blocked the Malone Road.

"I was shocked when I saw what had happened, the whole road was blocked, thankfully nobody was injured and there's been little or no damage.

"The tree has been there for hundreds of years and I didn't expect there would be any problem, it's a very large, strong tree."

Storm Eleanor is the fifth named storm to hit the UK this winter.

The Met Office warning lasts until 04:00 GMT on Wednesday. It originally issued a yellow warning, but later upgraded it to amber.

In the Republic of Ireland, Met Éireann has issued two Status Orange warnings and road users are being urged to travel with care.

Image copyright Joanna McClean
Image caption A garden shed blown over in County Armagh

Motorists have been warned to avoid Galway city centre due to serious flooding, while flooding has also been reported in parts of counties Cork and Kerry.

As of 20:15, about 55,000 electricity customers were without power, predominantly in counties Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Galway, Cavan and Monaghan.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A tree blocks part of the road on Dee Street in east Belfast

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