Northern Ireland

Severe weather hits transport and power supplies

The severe weather has left 6,000 homes across Northern Ireland without electricity.

NIE said Enniskillen was the worst affected area with 1500 dwellings without power.

They stepped up all their incident centres and 125 engineers were out on the ground. Late on Thursday 3,500 homes were still without power.

Heavy rainfall has caused flooding to a number of roads in the north-west of Northern Ireland.

The A6 Glenshane Road was flooded at Cross but the road remained passable.

The A40 Letterkenny Road was flooded at a number of locations outside Londonderry but remained passable.

The Met Office had warned that winds of up to 70mph were expected in Northern Ireland on Thursday evening.

It said southwest and then westerly winds would increase to severe gale force over some areas from late afternoon onwards.

BBC NI weather presenter Cecilia Daly said winds had already gusted to 63mph in Castlederg in County Tyrone.

She said "severe gales" were "most likely to be in the west, along the north coast and the east Antrim coast".

The Met Office said there would be rain on Thursday evening, which "would be heavy in places, clearing to passing blustery showers" on Thursday night.

It said "gale force westerly winds would reach severe gale force in places, especially across the west, north coast and Irish sea coast, moderating a little before dawn".

A fallen tree has blocked the Hannahstown Hill road in Belfast
Image caption A fallen tree has blocked the Hannahstown Hill road in Belfast

The Met Office has advised the public to take extra care and refer to TrafficWatchNI for further details on road conditions.

Stena Line said that due to "anticipated adverse conditions on the Irish Sea, it was likely sailings would be suspended later on Thursday afternoon until the early hours of tomorrow".

Passengers are advised to contact its Ferrycheck number on 08705755755.

Anyone wishing to change their booking to an alternative date can contact reservations on 08447707070.

If you have pictures of the stormy weather, please send them to nipics@bbc.co.uk - See bbc.co.uk/terms for full details.

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