Tropical storm slams into Ireland, UK

2011-09-12 16:33
Dublin - Tropical Storm Katia shut down roads, bridges and sporting events on Monday in Ireland and Britain, where residents braced for the strongest wind gusts in 15 years.

Forecasters in both countries said on Monday's gusts would top 125km/h as the storm - previously a hurricane as it roared across the Atlantic - made driving, shipfaring and even walking dangerous in broad swathes of Ireland, Scotland and northern England.

Most ferry services between Ireland and Britain were cancelled, and fishing boats along the Atlantic coasts of Ireland and Scotland were warned to head into port.

Britain's government forecasting service, the Met Office, told the public to be ready for the strongest winds since October 1996, when the tail end of Hurricane Lili killed five Britons and caused an estimated £150m of damage there.

The Met Office said winds were averaging 88km/h while the strongest reported gust so far was 128km/h at a mountain station in North Wales. Gusts in the Northern Ireland border town of Castlederg reached 118km/h.

Heavy rainfall was expected to hit the north of Ireland and central Scotland, where Transport Minister Keith Brown reassured travellers that emergency crews were ready to handle accidents, road blockages and power outages.

"Robust contingency arrangements are in place so people should not panic," Brown said.

The Tour of Britain cycling race cancelled Monday's planned second stage across northern England after deeming the course's most exposed and elevated points too dangerous.

Ireland, which is regularly buffeted by strong Atlantic winds, also warned of exceptionally dangerous driving conditions and the risk of widespread coastal flooding.

Towns along Ireland's Atlantic coast last experienced heavy flooding in November 2010.

A bridge spanning a bay in County Donegal, northwest Ireland, was closed on Monday as a precaution, while fallen trees obstructed roads in several other parts of the island, including Limerick in the southwest.

Ireland's Electricity Supply Board said its engineers were trying to restore power to about 11 000 homes along the Irish Republic's border with Northern Ireland.

Another 2 000 homes in Dublin lost power because of toppled electricity lines.

Authorities in Norway, Sweden and Denmark said they expected gale-force winds to arrive there on Tuesday.

Ireland and Britain periodically catch the tail-end of Atlantic hurricanes as they travel northeast with the Gulf Stream and weaken into tropical storms.

The Met Office said Britain and Ireland felt the winds of one former hurricane in 2009, three in 2006, two in 2000, one in 1998 and one in 1996, when Lili's winds topped 145km/h and brought widespread disruption to Britain and Ireland.

Katia is the second major hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, forming two weeks ago near the west African islands of Cape Verde.

Katia travelled in a C-shape route toward the Caribbean and the eastern United States but didn't reach landfall there, then headed northeast to Europe.

- SAPA
Read more on:    ireland  |  uk  |  weather
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

The Fast and Furious R40 million

With the Fast and the Furious 7 hitting South African cinema’s this April, all eyes are on the cars and we’re in for a treat!

 
 

Luxury living

This is the most expensive burger in the world!
Exclusive food items that WILL break the bank
Top 10 most expensive homes in the world
You can permanently live on a ship and sail the world!
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to discriminate, criticise and over analyse things today which can leave everybody feeling a little bit unsure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.