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Storm Aiden: Halloween weather warning in Northern Ireland

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image captionA fallen tree on the Upper Croft road in Holywood, County Down

A weather warning is currently in place in Northern Ireland due to strong winds brought by Storm Aiden.

Winds are expected to reach between 50-60mph inland, with higher gusts up to 70mph along more exposed coastal areas.

A yellow warning has been issued by the Met Office across Northern Ireland from 06:00 GMT until 21:00 on Saturday.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) says it has been "inundated with reports of flooding and tree reports throughout all parts of NI".

"Local DfI Roads staff are out attending these incidents to get the roads reopened as soon as possible," it said.

"Road users are advised to exercise caution while travelling today as there is a possibility of storm debris being on roads on the network that may not have been brought to our attention yet."

The Foyle Bridge in Londonderry was closed to high sided vehicles for a time, but was re-opened to them on Saturday evening.

Translink has said railway services are subject to some delay and disruption due to the weather.

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People are urged not to visit forests, country parks, and nature reserves until strong winds have subsided.

image copyrightJoanne Hall
image captionThe view from Portstewart promenade, County Londonderry on Saturday afternoon

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) also issued a warning against going near the water in coastal areas.

There are reports of a fallen tree on the Crawfordsburn Road near the junction with Tullynagardy Road in Newtownards blocking one lane.

A fallen tree on the B106 Trewmount Road in Moy, County Tyrone, has now been removed.

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In the Republic of Ireland, Met Éireann, has issued a Status Orange warning for Counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare.

image copyrightEmma Smith
image captionA fallen tree on the Coolyvenny Road, Coleraine

That is the second highest level of warning that can be issued.

More than 4,400 homes and businesses are without power due to the storm, according to ESB Networks.

A yellow warning for wind has been issued across all other counties in the Republic.

Irish police are appealing to the public to take care and exercise caution as the storm makes its way across the country.

They have advised people to avoid all unnecessary travel in the counties where orange level wind warnings are in place.

They said these winds will make driving conditions hazardous, especially for more vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and high-sided vehicles.

image copyrightJoanne Hall
image captionWaves crashed onto the promenade in Portstewart

They also appealed to road users to pay particular attention to the risk posed by fallen trees, flying debris and flooded roads.

This is the first storm of the season to be named as part of a joint initiative between the Irish, British, and Dutch weather services.

It is the sixth year that names have been used for storms that affect the UK, Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands and they are aimed at raising awareness of severe weather.

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The low pressure system will also bring some persistent and, at times, heavy rain, especially through the first part of Saturday.

On Sunday, another system containing some of the remnants of Hurricane Zeta will arrive.

It will bring a risk of gales along the Irish Sea coast, with gusts inland expected to reach around 50mph, and possibly higher in exposed areas.

Related Topics

  • Met Office
  • Severe weather

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