Thousands still without power in wake of Storm Ophelia

IRELAND-EU-PRESIDENCY

Surfers wait in the Atlantic on their surfboard for big waves to hit on the eve of storm Ophelia in the County Clare town of Lahinch, Ireland October 15, 2017.

Ireland and the West, where there are amber warnings in place, are expected to be the worst affected with "short, sharp bursts of winds" of up to 80mph, says the Met Office.

"The warning has been updated to extend the area at risk further east, taking in much of northern England and Wales along with parts of southern and central Scotland".

Yesterday, the skies above much of the North East turned dark, with the Met Office saying it is thought that for former hurrican drew Saharan dust north to the United Kingdom and made the sun appear redder than usual, before turning the skies a dark yellow. Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journeys times and cancellations possible.

Three people died when the ex-hurricane, the strongest storm to hit Ireland in nearly 60 years, battered the country yesterday.

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He has been named in reports as Fintan Goss, 33, who was a father-of-two, according to the Irish Independent. Another man in his 30s died while trying to clear a fallen tree in an incident involving a chainsaw.

Earlier, a woman driver in her 50s died when a tree fell on her auto in strong winds near Aglish village in Co Waterford.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings across the South West and said the hurricane is expected to bring winds of up to 50mph, including in Sidmouth, Exmouth and Honiton.

Forecaster Steven Keates said commuters should expect "very gusty conditions", with winds of up to 70mph. It made landfall after 10:40 a.m. (0940 GMT), the Irish National Meteorological Service said, with winds as strong as 190 kph (110 mph) hitting the most southerly tip of the country.

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