Northern Ireland

Storm Callum: Disruption to travel and power supplies

A man gets caught in a wave in Salthill, County Galway Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Waves have been battering the coast of Salthill, County Galway

Storm Callum has swept in, bringing 70mph winds and disruption to travel and power supplies across some parts of the UK and Ireland.

An amber warning is in place across much of Wales as winds hit 72mph and hundreds of homes are without power.

About 150 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland are currently without electricity.

A number of flights have been cancelled at Belfast City, Cardiff and Dublin Airports.

The Friday morning London Stansted to City of Derry Airport flight was diverted to Belfast International Airport after the pilot aborted landing due to high winds.

Belfast International Airport has warned of potential flight delays.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for South West England, North East England, North West England, South West Scotland, Lothian Borders, Wales and Yorkshire and Humber.

An area of Exmouth seafront, which is set to be protected by a £12m tidal defence scheme, has flooded. Police have warned people to stay away from the coastline.

In many areas, the clear-up is under way.

Fallen trees were blocking the Tassagh Road in Keady in County Armagh and the Scarva Road heading out of Gilford in County Down, while a tree also came down on the road at Windsor Avenue in south Belfast.

The storm has brought rain and severe gales to parts of Ireland and Wales, with the strongest gusts expected in coastal areas.

How is transport affected?

Most FlyBe flights travelling to and from Belfast City Airport between 06:00 and 09:30 BST have been cancelled.

Belfast International Airport said that while all flights are still scheduled, there may be knock-on delays.

Some flights at Bristol Airport have also experienced delays.

More than 25 Aer Lingus flights travelling to and from Dublin airport have been cancelled.

Stena Line has said that adverse weather conditions in the Irish Sea will cause a number of delays between its Belfast and Cairnryan service. Earlier its 07:30 BST service was also delayed.

P&O has advised passengers with non-essential travel to rearrange their sailing.

Translink has warned that the punctuality of rail services will "regretfully be adversely affected" while Arriva Trains Wales has put on replacement bus services and cancelled some trains.

Trains are also subject to speed restrictions while the A55 Britannia Bridge between Anglesey and the Welsh mainland has been closed to high-sided vehicles, with one lane shut on the M48 Severn crossing.

In Scotland, bridge restrictions are in place in Clackmannanshire, Tay Road, Kessock, Dornoch and Erskine Bridge due to high winds. The Skye Bridge is closed to high vehicles.

What's the forecast?

In Northern Ireland, a yellow warning has been issued by the Met Office for strong winds.

The agency says some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely because of the storm.

The strongest gusts of more than 60mph are expected to have reached their peak on Friday morning, before winds slowly begin to ease.

The Randox NI Potato Festival, scheduled for Saturday in Bushmills, County Antrim, has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

An amber warning for heavy rain has been issued for most of south Wales on Friday.

In the Republic of Ireland, weather service Met Éireann has issued the second highest level of warning - a Status Orange - for all coastal counties.

The agency warns there is a risk of coastal flooding and damage, especially along the south and west coasts, as the storm coincides with high tides.

The warning also tells people to "stay away from exposed coastal areas for the period of the orange warning".

Gusts along the west coast could be in excess of 80mph.

Where are the power outages?

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) says about 150 homes and businesses are without power, mainly in the south east of Northern Ireland.

Earlier, more than 900 homes and businesses in Lisburn, County Antrim, were without electricity.

A spokesperson from NIE Networks said: "We are grateful for the patience of all of the customers who lost power due to Storm Callum.

"Our teams will continue to work into this evening until the last customer has power restored."

NIE has opened 12 incident centres across Northern Ireland to respond to any damage to the network.

It has urged people to stay away from fallen overhead power lines and to report any electricity network damage to 03457 643 643.

Storm Callum is the third named storm of the season and follows Storms Bronagh and Ali in September.

During the 2017-18 season, there were 11 named storms.

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