Summary of Storm Frank in NI shows travel disruption and winds of up to 78mph

The scene at Roselawn cemetery on the outskirts of Belfast on Wednesday
The scene at Roselawn cemetery on the outskirts of Belfast on Wednesday

High winds downed power lines, tore roofs off and battered the Province’s coastline.

But by Wednesday afternoon, the effects of Storm Frank had largely petered out, after wreaking disruption in a number of areas.

The scene on Whinney Hill, Holywood, Co. Down

The scene on Whinney Hill, Holywood, Co. Down

NI Electricity said late Wednesday afternoon the storm had brought disruption to around 21,000 homes and businesses, and that it was working to help small pockets of customers who were still affected.

.Power lines had been downed in a number of places – including when the huge, corrugated metal roof flew off a shed in the Carrickfergus area and into a pole – while the roof was also torn from a seaside caravan in Cushendall.

Larne’s Main Street was flooded, and roads were closed right across the Province – including 11 in Co Fermanagh alone.

The Met Office said on Wednesday evening that no major resurgence of Storm Frank was expected in the days ahead, and gave some of the top figures from the storm.

The damage in Cushendall on the north Antrim coast

The damage in Cushendall on the north Antrim coast

The highest wind speed recorded between 3pm on Tuesday to 3pm on Wednesday had been 78mph at Magilligan near Londonderry at 6pm on Tuesday, with the next strongest gust being 63mph at Orlock Head, Co Down, at 6pm on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the wettest place in Northern Ireland was Katesbridge, Co Down, where roughly half a month’s-worth of rain fell over the same period, according to Graeme Whipps of the Met Office.

Most of the 50.2mm total fell between 2am and 7am on Wednesday, and he described the downpour as “certainly a very high amount for one day”.

However, it paled compared with the UK’s highest 24-hour reading during the storm – that of about 120mm in the hills of Dumfrieshire, recorded at a Scottish government weather station.

NIE repair powercuts on the Eglantine Road in Lisburn

NIE repair powercuts on the Eglantine Road in Lisburn

Spokespeople at Belfast’s George Best City Airport and the International Airport, said that yesterday brought no cancellations or delays.

However, two flights were diverted to land at the international airport from Dublin, due to high winds around the Irish capital.

One – flying from Scandinavia in the morning – saw its passengers disembark and board buses to Dublin, while another flight – coming from Spain in the afternoon – landed at the airport, only to take off again when conditions improved.

The night before had brought serious disruption.

Flights by British Airways and Aer Lingus from George Best airport to Heathrow had been cancelled, and passengers on nine flights at the international airport were stuck on board for between one and three hours.

This was because winds had been so strong that the motorised stairs could not be brought up to the aeroplanes.

The social media sites for Stenaline and P&O (operating to and from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, and Larne and Cairnryan respectively), indicated there had been delays to one Stenaline service on Wednesday, as well as to some P&O sailings following a suspension of services the previous day.

Agriculture minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Although the worst has passed, further rain is forecast over the next few days, so we will remain vigilant. I urge any residents and business owners who think they are at risk of flooding to view the Rivers Agency flood maps on DARD’s website to access information which will help them understand the possible impact.

“Our engineers and technical staff will remain on the ground checking river levels, clearing drainage grilles and checking sandbag stores.

“Farmers will have housed the majority of their cattle but we would advise them to move any sheep or cattle that are still grazing on flood risk land to move them to higher ground.”

The number for the flooding incident line is 0300 2000 100. It is open 24 hours-a-day.