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Fallen trees and power outages after Storm Elsa causes damage in the west and south

Galway and Mayo bore most of the damage from the storm.

Image: Windy.com

Updated Dec 19th 2019, 10:31 AM

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE remain without power this morning after stormy weather hit the country last night, with the west and south particularly badly hit. 

A Status Orange wind warning for Galway and Mayo was issued by Met Éireann last night at 8pm to take effect at 9pm, with wind speeds projected to reach over 100 kilometres per hour before the storm struck yesterday evening. 

This morning, people are without power in parts of Galway, Mayo, Offaly, Kildare and elsewhere.  

A clean-up and repair operation has now began, with council staff clearing roads, debris and fallen trees. 

Galway City Council said that staff had worked overnight, with most routes now clear

The traffic lights at the Headford Road – one of the busiest routes into Galway city – were temporarily out earlier this morning. 

Social media footage from Salthill captured cars being swamped with water as waves pounded the area during high tide. 

Last night, the council had warned residents to “stay indoors” and not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary. 

Mayor of Galway City Council, Mike Cubbard, said that council crews were “caught on the hop because the warning only came from Met Éireann at 8pm”. 

“Because it was issued so late we were chasing our tails a bit,” he said. 

Cubbard said that between eight and 10 properties were damaged in the city last night, along with 40 cars. 

 Some people criticised the authorities for not issuing a more prompt warning. 

The storm, dubbed Storm Elsa by the Portuguese weather service, caused damage across the country. 

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The storm wasn’t given a name by Met Éireann, which partners with the UK Met Office and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute to label storms. 

A storm is named by a forecaster when orange or red level winds are expected to impact over a wide land area. However, orange or red level gusts can occur in exposed areas without the event being named.

All warnings have now been lifted, but it will remain rainy and wet in most parts of the country today. 

With reporting from Hayley Halpin

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