Updated: 24/02/17 : 05:18:10
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Sligo and Leitrim hit hard by Storm Doris power outages

Thousands of families and business owners across Ireland were left overnight without power after a violent Atlantic storm.

Repair crews restored electricity to more than 62,500 customers within hours of Storm Doris sweeping across large swathes of the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Sligo and the north west were one of the worst hit regions for power outages.

Nationally almost 8,000 homes and businesses were awaiting reconnection as darkness fell last night.

About 1,000 individual faults in the Republic cut supplies to pockets stretching from Sligo and Castlebar across to Drogheda/Dundalk, including parts of Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford and Cavan left 4,000 homes without power ovenight.

A spokeswoman for the ESB Networks said yesterday that crews would work into the night to return power to another 17,000 homes and businesses.

"Crews will be out again from early Friday, to continue the work of repairing the network and restoring power to all customers," she said.

"Crews based in areas of the country less impacted by the storm have travelled to assist colleagues in the most affected areas."

As the storm moved in during the early hours, gale-force winds reached speeds of up to 87mph on the west coast.

                                ESB repair crews working to restore power yesterday

Across the border in Northern Ireland, the worst-hit areas were Fermanagh, Armagh and Down with the highest number of faults around the Mournes in Newcastle, Kilkeel and Rostrevor.

About 950 homes and businesses were expected to see through the night with no power.

Sara McClintock, NIE Networks' Communications, said power had been restored to more than 22,500 customers during the day.

"Our teams will be working into the night to restore power," she said.

Counties Dublin, Kildare, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim all suffered large outages.

Schedules at Dublin Airport were also disrupted during yesterday as airlines cancelled at least a dozen flights in and out of the UK as Storm Doris moved over the Irish Sea.

Ferry operations were also called off.

Most of the damage was caused by falling trees and branches hitting power lines.

Numerous roads across Leinster, Connacht and Munster were blocked to traffic after the storm felled trees and left debris in its wake.

AA Roadwatch warned motorists to slow down, with high-sided vehicles especially vulnerable on open or exposed roads.

One lorry overturned on the northbound side of the M1.

Some rail services were also delayed due to fallen trees.

Energy authorities warned people to keep clear of broken power lines and poles and to be extra vigilant with children and pets.

They were also urging people to report damage.