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As it happened: 70,000 left without power after Storm Debi, clean up efforts begin

Public transport was severely impacted this morning, but services began to resume again at 10am.

LAST UPDATE | 13 Nov 2023

AROUND 70,000 homes, businesses and farms remain without power as Storm Debi hit the country this morning. 

Power will likely not be restored in some areas until tonight or possibly tomorrow.

Public transport was severely impacted this morning, but services began to resume again at 10am. 

All the weather warnings in place for Storm Debi elapsed at 3pm. 

Keith Leonard, the national director for fire and emergency management, has advised the public that “although the storm has passed, there are still hazards out there – particularly fallen trees or branches and fallen wires”.

Updates from Hayley Halpin, Órla Ryan and Daragh Brophy

That’s all from us on the liveblog for today. 

We’ll leave you with a quick recap on the day’s developments…

  • A Status Red wind warning was in place until 7am for east Galway and Roscommon.
  • Another Status Red wind warning was in place until 9am for Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Offaly and Westmeath.
  • A Status Orange wind warning was in place until 10am for Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway and Roscommon.
  • The whole country then remained under a Status Yellow rain and wind warning until 3pm.
  • As of 7.45am, around 100,000 homes, farms and businesses were without power after Storm Debi battered the country early in the morning. As of the past hour, around 70,000 customers remain without power
  • There was a number of disruptions to public transport, flights and ferry services earlier today as a result of the storm.  
  • ‘Considerable’ damage has been caused to parts of Galway after some areas were flooded.  
  • Keith Leonard, the national director for fire and emergency management, has advised the public that “although the storm has passed, there are still hazards out there – particularly fallen trees or branches and fallen wires”.
  • Clean up operations will continue throughout the country this afternoon. 

Westmeath County Council has an updating regarding road closures: 

The clean up operation is well underway in Galway city this afternoon. 

The Luas Green Line has now fully reopened. 

People are being advised to expect delays while the service is regulated and to allow extra time when travelling. 

autumn-weather-nov-13th-2023 Cars struggled through flood water on roads surrounding Cookstown in Co Tyrone Claudia Savage / PA Images Claudia Savage / PA Images / PA Images

A number of areas of Northern Ireland have flooded due to Storm Debi. 

The PSNI has also warned of floods in south Belfast.

Cars struggled through flood water on roads surrounding Cookstown in Co Tyrone, while SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn said a woman in Coalisland had lifted her child over her head as floodwater impacted the King’s Row area.

Downpatrick in Co Down was badly affected by flooding in recent weeks, with many businesses under several feet of water after the nearby River Quoile burst its banks.

The Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said the A22 Killyleagh Road in Downpatrick had been closed at Quoile Bridge and that traffic was being diverted.

There were local reports of damage at the Quoile Bridge due to the amount of pressure it had been under with high water levels.

The canal in Newry, one of the areas worst affected by recent flooding, remained at a high level.

A number of roads were closed in the Ballymena area today due to fallen trees and the Department for Infrastructure said there were reports of a landslip on the A2 Shore Road in Glenarm.

NIE Networks said about 2,000 customers were without power, mainly around Craigavon, Newry and Downpatrick.

A large tree has fallen and damaged a vehicle on Leeson Park in Ranelagh, Dublin. 

071Storm Debi Hits Ireland_90692927 Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

078Storm Debi Hits Ireland_90692934 Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

Keith Leonard, the national director for fire and emergency management, told RTÉ’s News at One that they are “very much into the restoration and clean up phase” following Storm Debi.

“The worst impacts are in Galway city where we have seen various states of flooding in the Spanish Arch.”

“As soon as we have some of the numbers on the businesses (impacted) the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment are going to stand up a scheme specific for Galway City Council and that will happen in the next number of days,” Leonard said.

There are 70,000 homes, businesses and farms still without power in the aftermath of Storm Debi. 

Brian Tapley, ESB Networks regional manager, told RTÉ’s News at One that power has been restored to around 30,000 customers. 

“Athlone, Longford, Mullingar, Cavan, Drogheda and parts of North Dublin are the worst affected,” he said.

Storm Debi battering the seafront at high tide in Brighton, England this morning:

brighton-november-13th-2023-storm-debi-battering-the-seafront-at-high-tide-in-brighton-this-morning-credit-andrew-hassonalamy-live-news Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

The National Directorate for Emergency and Fire Management (NDFEM) called a further National Emergency Coordination Group meeting this morning in the wake of Storm Debi.

Speaking after this morning’s meeting, Keith Leonard, director-general of the NDFEM advised the public tha “although the storm has passed, there are still hazards out there – particularly fallen trees or branches and fallen wires”.

“All road users should slow down and be aware of the dangers of fallen trees and debris. I would remind people that it is critical that they never ever touch or approach fallen wires. Be sure to stay safe and stay clear of fallen or damaged electricity wires,” Leonard said. 

“Given the disruption in some areas, people should check their travel plans in advance of setting out on their journey,” he said. 

“We will continue to coordinate activities across all relevant state bodies to ensure we can address the impacts of the storm and, as always, we would advise everybody to monitor national and local media, including social media, over the course of the day to keep up to date with the latest information.”

The NDFEM Crisis Management Team is continuing to monitor developments, liaising with Local Authority Severe Weather Assessment Teams and Crisis Management Teams who are actively dealing with the disruption caused by the storm.

Disruptions remain on the Luas Green Line from St Stephen’s Green to Balally, but the Luas operator has said that its tickets are valid on Dublin Bus for the duration of today’s disruption.

Although Bus Éireann routes have mainly resumed in many parts of the country, it is continuing to face some delays due to the storm. 

It’s advising customers to continue checking its website for the latest updates on its services and to also leave additional time should you be intending to travel.

“While services are resuming across the Bus Éireann network, we are still experiencing a degree of service disruption due to Storm Debi and we would ask intending customers to check our website for service updates,” a statement said.

The latest storm tracker update from Met Éireann places Debi as continuing northeastwards over the country.

Severe and damaging wind gusts are to continue for a time leading to disruption, the forecaster says.

Heavy rain will become confined to Ulster with sunny spells & showers following.

Irish Rail delays 

The latest delays to a number of rail services across Munster, Connaught and Dublin have been posted by Irish Rail. 

Delays of 50 minutes are expected for Cork to Heuston and Westport to Heuston, while passengers are in store for 40-minute delays for Galway to Heuston and Mallow to Tralee.

Crews are working to remove a fallen tree in Beechwood in Dublin. 

The Luas Green Line service is expected to remain out of action for another two hours to allow the removal of the tree.

Three inbound flights to Dublin Airport had to be diverted this morning. 

a-photo-of-a-green-an-post-sign-in-dublin-ireland Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

An Post has said it adjusted its schedules to “get letters and parcels safely around the country ahead of the storm”.

Deliveries in some areas in the north, midlands, south and east of the country will be delayed due to road conditions and power outages, all determined by local conditions.

An Post said deliveries will get underway as soon as it is safe to do so.

Many post offices are operating normally around the country and post offices in the counties affected by the Status Red warnings started to open from 11am, wherever it is safe to do so. Power outages are impacting some post offices.

An Post is asking customers to “stay safe and not to take any risks while the storm is raging or where road conditions are dangerous”.

A postwoman was taken to hospital after being hit by flying debris in Co Limerick this morning but An Post said she was not seriously injured.

Speed restrictions across the Irish Rail network have been lifted. 

However, restrictions remain in place between Ennis and Athenry. 

Irish Rail said delays to services are still expected due to earlier delays. 

Meath County Council said it attended a number of incidents this morning with vehicles and fallen trees. There were no injuries reported. 

Here’s the aftermath of one fallen tree… 

036Storm Debi Hits Ireland_90692876 A car destroyed by a fallen tree in Co Meath Meath County Council Fire and Rescue / X Meath County Council Fire and Rescue / X / X

Monaghan County Council and Offaly County Council have some updates regarding the fallen trees: 

A man and a woman clear a fallen tree on the Dublin Road in Dundalk, Co Louth.

a-man-and-a-woman-clear-a-fallen-tree-on-the-dublin-road-in-dundalk-co-louth-heavy-winds-and-fallen-trees-have-been-reported-across-the-country-as-local-authorities-begin-to-assess-the-damage-as-sto Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Westmeath County Council and Louth County Council are reporting a number of incidents of fallen trees this morning. 

The Luas Green Line is still experiencing some disruption. 

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has confirmed that the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is available to provide support to those living in properties directly affected by flooding in Co Galway today. 

The scheme will also be extended to other affected areas as required, it has been confirmed. 

The Department of Social Protection says the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme “prevents hardship by providing income-tested financial support to people whose homes are damaged from flooding and severe weather events and who are unable to meet costs for essential needs, household items and structural repair”.

Humphreys said she is “very conscious of the serious disruption that severe weather and flooding is causing for individuals and families in Co Galway, especially in Oranmore and parts of Galway city”.

We have another update from the ESB regarding power outages. 

As of 10.30am, 80,000 homes, farms and businesses are without power. 

Most impacted counties include Galway, Roscommon, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Louth.

At 7.45am this morning, approximately 100,000 customers were without electricity.

“All available resources are now deployed as Storm Debi clears the country and ESB Networks crews are currently in the process of assessing damage, making the network safe and repairing electricity supply where safe to do so,” a spokesperson for ESB said. 

“Crews expect to restore power to the majority of impacted customers throughout today. However, due to the scale of the damage to the electricity network, some customers in localised areas will remain without supply overnight,” they said. 

Real-time updates on power restoration times are available on and

People who come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network are being warned to “never, ever touch or approach these as they are live and extremely dangerous”.

Any damage to electricity infrastructure should be reported to the ESB by calling 1800 372 999.

Pictured are waves crashing into the rocks at the Mumbles lighthouse and headland near Swansea, Wales shortly after sunrise as Storm Debi moves into Southern parts of the UK.

swansea-uk-13th-nov-2023-waves-crash-into-the-rocks-at-the-mumbles-lighthouse-and-headland-near-swansea-shortly-after-sunrise-as-storm-debi-moves-into-southern-parts-of-the-uk-this-morning-credit Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Public transport

Dublin Bus services were cancelled until 10am this morning. However, services have begun to resume now. 

Luas services were also cancelled until 10am this morning.

The Red Line has now fully reopened, but customers are being advised there may be delays as the service is regulated.

The Green Line is operating between St Stephen’s Green and Broombridge and between Brides Glen and Balally. 

Irish Rail put a speed restriction of 80kph in place across the entire rail network this morning and delays to services on all routes are expected.

Dublin Airport is operational this morning but a number of flights have been cancelled.

As of 10.40am, four incoming and five outgoing flights have been cancelled. The airport said “some disruption is possible” today as a result of the storm.

Passengers are being advised to contact their airline for updates on specific flights.

In Cork Airport, the 6.10am flight to Amsterdam was cancelled. 

Ferry services have also seen some disruptions overnight and this morning as a result of the storm. 

The 2am Dublin to Holyhead service was cancelled, along with the 8.15am Holyhead to Dublin service. 

Amber weather warnings are in place for parts of Northern Ireland and north-west England. 

The UK Met Office has issued several weathers warning for Northern Ireland, including an amber alert for wind, which will remain in place in the south east of the region until midday.

In north-west England, an amber alert is active from 10am until 4pm and covers coastal areas north of Liverpool up to Whitehaven.

The Met Office has warned people in those areas should be wary of solid and disruptive winds with the possibility of flying debris.

Damage to buildings and structures is likely, and heavy items such as tiles blown from roofs may present a potential danger to life.

The UK’s chief meteorologist Matthew Lehnert said: “Storm Debi has developed rapidly overnight and will bring impacts across parts of the UK today.

“Because of the particular risk of impacts to parts of Co Armagh and Co Down this morning and parts of northwest England through much of the day we have issued two amber wind warnings.”

A yellow warning for wind, the lowest level of alert, will be in place from 4am until 6pm for areas including Bangor and St Davids in Wales and Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool in England.

Aberdeenshire in Scotland will have a yellow warning for rain from 10am until 9pm.

In Galway, the Blackrock diving tower is closed following damage from the storm.

The ESB has confirmed a number of homes and businesses have had power restored this morning following outages. 

There are now around 84,000 customers without power, down from 110,000 earlier. 

In Cavan, ther are a number of fallen trees and some flooding has been reported. 

Here’s a list of some of the incidents reported to the council this morning: 

Louth County Council has received reports of fallen electricity wires in the Port area. 

People are being advised to avoid the area.

All the weather warnings in place are now Status Yellow, Met Éireann has confirmed.

Status Orange warnings from the Met Office remain in place for counties Down and Armagh.

Trinity College Dublin and UCD will remain closed until 11am.

Meanwhile, as we reported earlier, lectures in DCU have been postponed until midday.

Maynooth University is also opening later than usual.

Winds are easing in some areas but local flooding remains a concern.

There are fallen trees around the country, including the below incidents in Meath. Drivers have been urged to exercise extreme caution. 

Galway City Council will provide assistance to property owners affected by the storm.

Anyone who needs assistance should contact GCC by calling 091 536 400.

Liam Burke has captured the damage of Storm Debi in Oranmore, Co Galway, today.

Storm Debi Oranmore Galway 4

Storm Debi Oranmore Galway 3

Storm Debi Oranmore Galway 2

Storm Debi Oranmore Galway 1

Storm Debi Oranmore Galway 5

All photos by Liam Burke

Keith Leonard, the national director for fire and emergency management, has advised people to stay home where possible.

He told Morning Ireland: “The advice would be to be very aware of your local conditions. Storms are not uniform events and the impacts could go on for a good part of the day.

“So, where people have the option, I would say stay home if you can. If you are moving just be very careful of the local conditions, particularly in coastal areas, they’re going to remain hazardous today.

“So we’d advise people – as the Coast Guard would say – stay high and stay dry, and stay away from coastal areas.”

Gerry O’Malley, Chief Fire Officer for Galway, told Morning Ireland there was severe flooding in the Salthill area overnight, as well as some flooding in the city centre.

His crews rescued eight people overnight, primarily from stranded cars.

The clean-up operation has begun, but he said there are still risks even though the storm has passed.

110,000 without power

Around 110,000 homes, businesses and farms are now without electricity, the ESB has confirmed.

Brian Tapley of ESB Networks told Morning Ireland, given the scale of the outages, power will likely not be restored in some places until tonight or tomorrow.

“We’re going to be working late into the night, I think, to get the majority of our customers back. It’s probably too soon to say how many may be without supply overnight, but we’ll aim to have the vast majority of our customers back today.”

Tapley said emergency calls have started already, since first light, and “as the storm fully passes, the majority of our crews will be deployed and we’ll be making the network safe”.

He added: “If anyone does come across a falling power line, our advice would be to treat it as live and report it, they can contact to log a fault.”

Tapley stressed that members of the public should not touch any fallen conductors or cables.

A number of banks, including Bank of Ireland and AIB, are opening later than normal today due to the weather warnings.

Mary Connaughton, the Director of CIPD, the professional body for HR and Learning & Development, has issued the below statement.

“The CIPD in Ireland is calling on employers to be supportive of workers facing potential disruption throughout the morning and later in the day as a result of Storm Debi and its associated conditions.

“For locations under red and orange weather warnings, employees should be facilitated to stay at home unless travel is urgent and work onsite is essential. For those who can work from home, this is the best option.

“For those with childcare responsibilities, delayed school and creche opening times will also impact on their ability to keep to their usual travel and work times.

“Situations such as this require an understanding from employers that workers should not put themselves at risk in extreme weather. Flexible working on annual leave, or arrangements to facilitate the rescheduling of any hours missed are all potential ways to make up any shortfall.”

CIPD has around 6,000 members in Ireland.

Here is the latest on delays to Irish Rail services:

100,000 without power

Here is the latest update from ESB:

Storm force winds associated with Storm Debi have caused damage to the electricity network overnight, predominantly in Western, Midwest and Midlands counties.

As of 7.45am, approximately 100,000 homes, farms and businesses are without power, but this number may rise as the storm tracks eastwards.

All available resources are deployed, and ESB Networks crews will respond to all electricity outages once it’s safe to do so. Further updates will issue in due course.

An Important Public Safety Message: If you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they are LIVE and extremely dangerous. Please report any damage to electricity infrastructure by calling 1800 372 999.

In the case of any electricity-related emergencies, people have been advised to call ESB on 1800 372 999.

Patrick O’Donovan, Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, has advised people to take “extreme caution” especially when driving.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, he said: “Especially in the counties that are still [under a red warning] and those that are orange, is to drive with extreme caution if you are going out and to avoid unnecessary travel, especially in the orange and yellow counties as well because there can be some severe gusts in the yellow counties as well.

“We won’t be able to ascertain the full damage until later on in the morning.

“The National Emergency Coordination Group will meet at 11 o’clock and we’ll get a fuller picture from the local authorities, but already we can see in relation to electricity outages that there are literally tens of thousands of houses [affected].”

O’Donovan said people should not attempt to clear any debris on roads themselves or cut down branches, and to instead leave it local authorities, ESB personnel and other trained workers.

All lectures in Dublin City University have been cancelled until 12 noon today.

Bus Éireann has extended its period without service this morning – there will now be no services until 11am in some areas.

A phased resumption of services in the following areas will commence from 11am and full details will be updated on the BÉ website:

  • Cavan
  • Dublin
  • Kildare
  • Laois
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghan
  • Offlay
  • Westmeath
  • Wicklow

School transport services:

As per the decision to delay the opening of schools until 10am, school bus services in the 21 counties (Clare, Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, Roscommon and Wicklow) affected by the Status Red and Orange Warnings will not operate this morning; however, afternoon services will operate as normal, subject to local road conditions being safe to travel.

Dublin City Council’s Crisis Management team met on Sunday night to discuss its response to Storm Debi.

The council is advising all commuters including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and public transport users to “take extreme care on the roads and to assess the risk of travel”.

Non-essential council staff are to work remotely today, where possible, until 10am.

City Hall will remain closed until 10am as will all city libraries along with city parks, and sports and recreation facilities.

Council crews were on standby overnight and will be again today to assess any damage caused as a result of the storm and to carry out repairs.

The Crisis Management Team will reconvene this morning.

Court buildings in the counties affected by Status Red weather warnings will remain closed for the duration of the warning. Courts will not sit before 11:30am in these counties.

Court users will be informed of these and any other updates via the website and the Courts Service’s Twitter/X account.

There are a number of disruptions to public transport, flights and ferry services this morning. Here is the latest information:

Dublin Bus and Luas have cancelled all services until 10am.

Bus Éireann has cancelled services in areas affected by red alerts until at least 10am.

Irish Rail has put a speed restriction of 80kph in place across the entire rail network and delays to services on all routes are expected.

Dublin Airport is operational this morning but a number of flights have been cancelled.

In Cork Airport, the 6.10am flight to Amsterdam was cancelled.

Ferry services have also seen some disruptions overnight and this morning as a result of the storm.

Dublin Airport is open and operational this morning. However, as of 6am, four incoming and four outgoing flights were cancelled.

Close to 50,000 people across Ireland are dealing with electrical outages due to Storm Debi.

Most outages were reported at around 5.30am and there is an estimated restoration time of 6pm for most areas impacted by the storm.

According to the ESB’s PowerCheck, Claregalway in Co Galway is the most affected area, with 6,478 customers impacted by an outage there.

This is followed by Mohill in Co Leitrim, where 2,337 customers are impacted by an outage.


Here’s the latest on public transport:

Irish Rail: There’s a speed restriction of 80kph in place across the entire rail network – delays to services on all routes are expected.

Bus Éireann: There will be no services in areas affected by red alerts until at least 10am. They’ll start on a phased basis then.

Dublin Bus: There will be no services until 10am. 

Luas: There will be no Red or Green services until at least 10am. 

Dublin Airport is operational but a number of flights have been cancelled.

Ireland’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) yesterday advised schools and pre-schools in counties with red and orange warnings to remain closed until 10am. 

The national director for fire and emergency management, Keith Leonard, advised that conditions around coasts in particular would be “extremely hazardous”.

He added: “Employers are asked to have some flexibility in relation to employees who have to travel to work and if working from home is an option, that will be the preferred option for people in the counties affected.”

Road users, he said, should be aware of “very hazardous and difficult conditions”, including downed power lines.

He said there will be a substantial number of downed trees and other debris.

“A very important message in relation to keeping your phone charged. There’s going to be extensive electricity outages and your mobile phone is your link to the emergency services.”

Speaking on an extended Morning Ireland, Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy said it was a “short, sharp” storm and advised people to remain at home until it had passed. 


Good morning, 

Met Éireann updated its alerts at 5am.

The Status Red wind warning for east Galway and Roscommon has been extended until 7am.

The Status Red wind warning for Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Offaly and Westmeath has been extended until 9am.

In both areas the warnings of possible inpacts are:

- Damage to exposed and vulnerable structures
- Disruption to services and transport
- Significant power outages
- Fallen trees/branches

‘Red’ is the highest level of warning under Met Éireann’s storm alert system.

Status Orange warnings will be in place in the following counties until 10am:

Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, Roscommon.

The UK Met Office has also issued a similar warning – an Amber one – for Armagh and Down.

A Yellow Warning applies across the rest of Ireland – the North and the Republic – until this afternoon.

Includes reporting by Press Association

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