Power cut in Mountmellick

Storms caused a three hour power cut in the Mountmellick area in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but caused little damage elsewhere in the county.

Storms caused a three hour power cut in the Mountmellick area in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but caused little damage elsewhere in the county.

A spokesperson for the ESB confirmed that 1500 customers in Mountmellick and the surrounding area were left without electricity from 5am to almost 8am early Tuesday morning, after high winds during the night damaged the supply network.

Despite the high winds tearing across Laois yesterday, there were no incidents requiring a callout by the emergency services.

The fire service, county council and Civil Defence were all on standby following a weather warning issued by Met Eireann on Monday, threatening winds of 140kph. Local radio reported two blocked roads in the county, but no authorities were aware of these incidents.

A spokesperson for Laois Fire Service reported no callouts other than a couple of road traffic accidents, and a quiet Christmas overall. The roads section of Laois County Council also reported a quiet day, with no calls to their office from the public.

The risk of flooding was being closely monitored by the Civil Defence, who were on standby yesterday. The river Blackwater in Ballyfin burst its banks, but as of lunchtime yesterday, had not flooded the road, according to

Commander of the Mountmellick unit, Fergal Conroy.

“We are monitoring the situation, and keeping hourly checks on the rivers. The Owenass in Mountmellick is very high. We have a unit of six to eight people on standby. It depends on the extent of the rain, it could go any way,” he said.

Gardai are advising road users to exercise extreme caution while storm force winds and heavy rain make driving conditions difficult. Drivers are advised to reduce speed, be aware of the ever changing conditions and the potential for hazards such as fallen trees, branches and other debris particularly on minor roads. Motorists should drive with their lights on and allow additional journey time.

The ESB is urging the public to report faults and fallen power lines on their emergency line 1850 372 999.

Met Eireann are forecasting changeable weather for the rest of the week in Laois, becoming milder towards this weekend.