herald

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Woman's miracle escape as tree crashes down on house in stormy weather

A DUBLIN woman had a miracle escape when a tree came crashing down on her home.

High winds toppled the 200-year-old tree, sending it through the roof, as the mum of two worked inside.

"I was sitting in the office when there was a terrible crash, and when I looked out I could see the tree had fallen against the roof," Fionuala Lennon told the Herald.

"I got a terrible shock, and I wouldn’t go out until I rang the gardai. When they came we had a look."

The weather also wreaked havoc at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium where fears part of the roof could blow off disrupted Dart and road traffic yesterday.

Fionuala and partner Donal Hickey were today waiting for two cranes to arrive to remove a massive tree that blew down on their home in Killester.

"Luckily the damage is to the external structure. It's a concrete house so it is strong."

The couple have two daughters, Saoirse (11) and Orla (7), who were at school at the time. Husband Donal, who runs his architect business from the property, said it is a shame the trees seem to be near the end of their lives.

"I think they're over 200 years old. It's a shame because I love them," he explained. "They used to line an avenue from Killester House to an ice-house and an orchard."

Across the capital drivers had to contend with debris blown on to the roads.

Flashing

At one stage Lansdowne Road was closed to traffic and DART services were suspended after a piece of roof flashing on the Aviva Stadium came loose.

Despite the strong gusts workers were able to secure the flashing and the danger to traffic was averted.

Met Eireann told the Herald that the winds are to remain strong for days to come.

Gerry Murphy of Met Eireann said tonight will be "very windy in the North West with a risk of severe gusts but not in the rest of the country".

Tomorrow these winds will ease and "it will be blustery and showery with another band of rain tomorrow night".

Thursday too will have showers and "at the moment there is a risk of more heavy rain on Friday".

Flooding was a major problem in the west as wind blowing at speeds of up to 120kph and giant waves lashed the coastline.

Torrential rain and high winds led to heavy flooding across Galway city.

A health hazard developed when raw sewage flowed after drain covers burst open.

Met Eireann issued warnings regarding strong winds and gusts, particularly on Atlantic coasts.

In Wicklow, excess surface water was a problem through Bray, Wicklow town and on the Arklow bypass following heavy and persistent rain.

Fallen trees temporarily blocked a number of roads in Kildare including Monas-terevin/Athy, Naas to Ballymore Eustace and Rathangan to Bracknagh.

Met Eieann reported that it would become wet and windy today with rain spreading to all areas this morning and gradually clearing eastwards in the afternoon and early evening.

South to southwest winds are forecast to be fresh to gusty.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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