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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
High winds lead to power failures
Some electricity supplies have been affected
Some electricity supplies have been affected
Some householders in Northern Ireland are without electricity after damage to the network caused by high winds.

Supplies have been affected in parts of Belfast and County Down and gusts of up to 70mph have been forecast for some parts of Northern Ireland.

Drivers are being warned to take extra care after reports of fallen trees.

NIE's main incident room is open overnight with up to 500 people on call to help restore supplies. Any faults can be reported on 08457 643643.

The worst of the weather has been forecast for the hours up to 0400 BST on Friday.

NIE said field staff, engineers, contractors, call handlers and administrative staff as well as specialist equipment and vehicles would be available in the event of problems.

Robin Greer of NIE said: "We are keeping a close eye on the changing weather forecasts and are preparing to get customers back on supply as quickly as humanly possible consistent with safety, and to keep customers regularly updated and informed.

"If customers do lose electricity supplies they should turn off major appliances such as cookers and take extra safety precautions, particularly if using candles or oil lamps."

Hurricane Gordon
The remnants of Hurricane Gordon is to reach parts of the UK

NIE has also appealed for people to do what they can to reduce the possibility of damage to the electricity system.

They are being urged to secure items such as childrens' trampolines, which can be lifted by the wind and have caused damage to electricity lines in the past.

Cornwall and west Wales are expected to be hit by storms on Thursday before the so-called extra-tropical storm affects Northern Ireland and Scotland overnight.

Meanwhile, a woman has been injured at the K Club in County Kildare after a branch of a tree fell near the golf buggy in which she was travelling.

The media centre for the Ryder Cup was also evacuated as a precaution due to the high winds.

Ryder Cup organisers fear more bad weather may mean playing an extra day.

Hurricane Gordon which passed Portugal's Azores Islands in mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, has been losing power as it hit cooler waters.

But its impact has been felt at the major golf tournament.

On Wednesday, organisers closed the K Club to spectators due to 40mph winds and have set Monday aside as a "reserve day" over fears that bad weather could delay proceedings.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Julian O'Neill reports from the NIE incident centre



SEE ALSO
Animated guide: Hurricanes
01 Jun 05 |  Science/Nature

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