Stormy weather causes disruption across NI

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Waves crash on rocks near Rue lighthouse on Rathlin IslandImage source, Douglas Cecil
Image caption,
Waves crash on rocks near Rue lighthouse on Rathlin Island

Hundreds of homes were left without power and debris was strewn across coastal roads as much of NI endured the remnants of Storm Diana.

The largest number of outages was in Castlederg, County Tyrone, where 200 customers were cut off.

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) said the majority of affected customers had been reconnected.

In Holywood, County Down, part of a coastal walkway between the Glen Road and Seafront Road collapsed.

While the worst of the weather was over by Wednesday night, more heavy rain is expected during rush hour on Thursday morning.

The remains of Storm Diana brought strong winds and heavy rain across many parts of the UK - Diana is not on the list of the Met Office's official storm names for this winter, and originated further south.

Fallen trees

Police warned of strong winds on the M1 from Belfast to Dungannon, and fallen trees were reported in counties Down and Tyrone.

On the north coast, the A2 Garron Road was closed for a period in both directions from Carnlough to its junction with the Largy Road to enable boulders and debris which had been swept on to the road by the tide to be cleared.

Temporary traffic lights are in place.

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Translink advised passengers to allow extra time for their journeys with up-to-date information on its social media feeds and website.

"We are working closely with the Met Office and other agencies to allow us to make informed decisions, to ensure we have staff on the ground where needed," the company said.

"Our crews are also ready to respond to clear debris from the railway and to operate bus diversions if roads are closed."

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council advised the public not to visit forests, country parks and coastal sites "until the high winds subside".

Updates on those roads affected by the weather conditions are available at Trafficwatch NI.

Image source, PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Drivers in Carnlough, County Antrim, had to proceed with caution

A number of weather warnings were also in place in the Republic of Ireland, where thousands of homes and businesses were without power but most have since been reconnected.

The run of stormy weather began on Tuesday, and it meant the County Antrim Shield semi-final between Ballymena United and Linfield at the Ballymena Showgrounds had to be postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

The rearranged game will now be played on Tuesday 18 December.

Media caption,

The latest weather forecast for Northern Ireland