Storm Ali - A wild Wednesday. Two dead and travel disruption as Severe Gales hit British Isles
The first named storm of the 2018/19 season Ali smashed its way across Ireland and the UK on Wednesday 19th Sept. It was a windy day for southern Britain but further north and for Northern Ireland and Ireland it was wild.
With most trees still in leaf, there was plenty of surface area for the high winds to hit. Falling trees then smashed cars, caused mayhem on the railways and blocked roads. Damage in SE Scotland
Ferry services were disrupted or cancelled with restrictions and closures on various bridges in Scotland and Ireland. Some schools did close during the day and parts of towns and cities were cordoned off as falling masonry or tiles became a danger.
Sadly, two people lost their lives. A tourist died after the caravan she was staying in was blown off a cliff in Galway. A utility engineer for NI Water died when a tree hit him and a colleague, leaving the other man seriously injured in Newry.
There have been numerous reports of trees falling on cars with people either slightly injured or just stunned and shocked. Dumfries and Galloway Police declared a major incident as the number of calls rose and the damage became widespread.
Major routes such as the A1 closed as lorries and caravans overturned. A cruise ship broke free of its moorings in the Clyde. Tugs had to be called in to help in the stormy conditions.
Flights were delayed, and trains suspended between Glasgow and Edinburgh with overhead cables damaged by flying debris on the routes through northern England.
There are still power outages this morning after many power cuts on Thursday, short and long.
Northern Ireland had its highest recorded September gust 91mph in Co Down. Co Galway also had a gust of 91mph. The Tay Bridge in eastern Scotland recorded 102mph, is not an official Met Office site but even so conditions were extreme at times during Wednesday 19th Sept.