Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Sunday, 18 January 2009

Woman killed as tree falls on car

scene of accident
Road service engineers worked to clear the tree from the road

A woman has been killed in County Down after a tree blown down by strong winds struck her car.

The woman who died was Mairead Teresa Shields, 35, from Raholp in Downpatrick.

The incident happened on Strangford Road in Downpatrick at 1600 GMT on Saturday as storms caused travel chaos and left 50,000 homes without power.

Police have warned motorists not to travel unless absolutely necessary and have urged them to take extra care.

They said if motorists did travel on Sunday, they should be mindful of ice, snow, and debris on the roads including fallen trees.

Dozens of roads across the country were blocked on Saturday due to fallen trees.

About 1,000 homes were still without electricity on Sunday afternoon.

Northern Ireland Electricity said the homes were affected by small isolated faults in the Craigavon, Bangor, Downpatrick and Ballyclare areas.

Northern Ireland weather forecast for Saturday night

Fallen trees blocked a large number of roads in County Antrim, with the Ballycastle and Cushendall areas being particularly affected.

Roads were also blocked in Omagh, Newtownstewart, Holywood, Hillsborough and Maghaberry.

Flooding closed the Warrenpoint to Rostrevor Road, while at one point, drivers were advised to avoid the sea front at Carrickfergus due to high waves crashing over the wall.

Builders in south and east Belfast were urged by police to secure equipment and scaffolding on their sites following reports of materials being strewn across a number of roads.

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18 Jan 09 |  Northern Ireland

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