220,000 Irish homes and businesses without power as ex-hurricane Ophelia hits the UK

A total of 220,000 homes and businesses in Ireland remain without power today, as ex-hurricane Ophelia sweeps across the UK.

ESB staff have been working tirelessly to try and restore power to homes and businesses across the country. However, it is expected that it will take a number of days for the network to be fully restored.

With wind speeds reaching upwards of 150kph in parts of Ireland yesterday (October 16), countless trees, telephone poles and electricity lines were blown to the ground.

The number of power outages exceeded 360,000 at one point yesterday, which is sure to be a record in recent years.

A total of three people lost their lives as a result of damage caused by the storm. An Garda Siochana confirmed that a woman in her 50s died after the car she was driving was struck by a falling tree in Aglish, Co. Waterford.

A second woman in her 70s – who is believed to be the deceased’s mother – was a passenger in the car at the time of the accident. She was removed to Waterford Regional Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, a man in his early 30s was killed while attempting to clear a fallen tree with a chainsaw just after midday in Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

Another man died after the car he was driving was struck by a falling tree in Dundalk, Co. Louth at around 2:45pm.

The south and south-west of the country seemed to take the brunt of the storm, with significant damage reported in counties Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

Wet and windy weather conditions are expected to continue for the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, ex-hurricane Ophelia departed Irish shores late last night, before arriving in the UK early this morning. The Met Office has issued a status yellow weather warning for some areas; it is set to remain in place until 3:00pm today.

It warned that road, rail, air and ferry services might be affected as a result of the weather conditions. It also advised the public that longer journeys times would be likely and that some roads and bridges could close.

In one instance last night, the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were called upon at approximately 7:15pm to deal with some agricultural buildings that had caught fire.

Crews from Malton, York, Acomb and a water bowser from Tadcaster attended the large fire. It is understood that the fire was accidentally spread from a bonfire due to the high winds.