Storm Eleanor cuts power and floods streets amid warnings of gales

2 January 2018, 01:21

Tens of thousand of homes are businesses have lost power in the West of Ireland and Storm Eleanor sweeps in from the Atlantic.

The storm is threatening Ireland and the west of the UK with winds of up to 90mph, putting lives at risk, the Met Office has said.

Video from Galway show the city's docks flooded, streets under water and even people driving along the seafront as huge waves endanger their vehicle.

Police and council workers are blocking streets, diverting traffic and handing out sandbags, people in the area have said.

The fifth named storm of the season is bringing a "very windy" spell to the UK through this evening, the night and into Wednesday morning, according to forecasters.

The Met Office has issued several national severe weather warnings due to the potential for travel disruption as people return to work following Christmas and New Year.

Forecasters also say there is a "danger to life" from beach material being thrown up onto the coast.

The yellow warning for wind has been in place since 6pm and will last for 24 hours, covering the majority of England, Wales, and the southern parts of Scotland.

Gales are predicted, with gusts of 60mph to 70mph likely. Western coastal areas could see gusts of up to 90mph.

Part of the warning adds: "Combined with a period of high tides, it is likely that some western coastal communities will be affected by large waves and spray, and again there is a chance that injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves, or beach material being thrown on to seafronts and coastal properties."

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Paul Gundersen, Met Office chief forecaster, said: "The unsettled theme continues throughout this week, with further spells of rain moving across the UK from the west as many return to work on Tuesday and there will again be some snow over the high ground in Scotland.

"The wind will pick up again later on Tuesday and Wednesday as developing Storm Eleanor heads towards the UK and Ireland."

The Environment Agency has warned that strong winds and high tides could bring coastal flooding until Thursday.

Carol Halt, the agency's flood duty manager, said: "We urge people to stay safe on the coast - take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades, and don't put yourself in unnecessary danger trying to take 'storm selfies'."