Donegal feels full force of storm Udo

Donegal is today recovering from the gale force winds that hit the county yesterday.

Donegal is today recovering from the gale force winds that hit the county yesterday.

Named Udo by meteorologists, the storm brought winds of up to 80mph to exposed areas of the county bringing down trees, electricity lines and telegraph poles.

Members of the public were warned to stay clear of downed electricity cables as ESB crews worked to restore power to around 10,000 customers.

While the storm affected most of the country during the day the north west was the worst affected. The ESB said most of the 25,000 customers affected nationally were in Mayo and Donegal.

With trees in full leaf they were more prone to falling than during a winter storm.

Trees were brought down in most parts of the county and ESB lines and telegraph lines were downed in Letterkenny, Raphoe, Milford, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Ardara, Carrick and Inishowen. The Finn Valley was also hit with trees downed in Ballybofey, Doneyloop, and Killygordon.

Ardara was particularly bad with a number of power lines down and several roads blocked including Leaconnell Road, Loughros Point Road. Trees were also down on the Killybegs Road. Locals were assisting council workers in cutting and removing trees.

Trees were also brought down in Gweedore and Portnoo. The ESB was warning at one stage that it was dangerous for people to go outside. People were warned only to make essential journeys. Most roads in the county were strewn with debris from tress.

Winds reached a peak of over 80 mph at Malin Head but wind strengths of over 60mph were experienced throughout the county, Met Éireann said.

Met Éireann said the storm was peaking about mid-afternoon yesterday and was expected to ease off over night.

It was to stay windy through the evening, but the winds would decrease during the night. Forecasters said the storm is expected to have passed by this morning. The rain showers that were a feature of yesterday were to continue overnight before easing off today.

Eircom said about 120 customers had lost phone connections due to the storm. Eighty of the customers affected were in the north of the county with the remainder in south Donegal. Crews were working to repair the affected lines, a spokesman said. “There is a slight increase but there is nothing major so far,” he said.

Underage sporting events throughout the county were called off on Sunday due to the predicted storm.

The Aura leisure centre in Letterkenny closed its doors yesterday due to the weather. At at one of the county’s biggest national schools, Scoil Cholmcille in Letterkenny, parents took the unusual step of driving into the school grounds and up to the front door to collect children.