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Pregnant woman taken to hospital after swerving to avoid fallen tree

A heavily pregnant woman had to be freed from her car after it turned on its side when the swerved to avoid a fallen tree this afternoon.

It happened on the Farlough Road at Maghery shortly after 3pm this afternoon.

Firefighters freed the woman – who is eight months pregnant – from her vehicle.

NI Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed that she was safely removed from the car and taken to hospital by ambulance to be checked.

It was one of a number of incidents reported across County Armagh during the most severe gales to hit the area in a very long time.

Gusts in excess of 70mph caused considerable disruption in Armagh and across the Province.

Part of the main road between Armagh and Portadown was closed by police and diversions put in place after an electricity pole and transformer was brought down on a lorry.

There were no reports of injuries but the road closure has led to long tailbacks throughout the day.

There were reports of trees being felled across the district, with the Loughgall and Keady areas particularly badly hit.

Power was also off earlier in the day in the Richhill area after another tree was blown down.

DUP Councillor Gareth Wilson told Armagh I he contacted NIE immediately powers supplies were lost and engineers were dispatched to the scene.

Several hundred homes were affected and Councillor Wilson later confirmed that the power had been restored.

On a wider scale, at the height of the severe conditions, NIE emergency crews from Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry/Londonderry joined the restoration process in the east of Northern Ireland.

Engineers and emergency crews restored electricity to over 11,000 homes and businesses across the country.

Around 2,400 customers remain without power.

High winds with gusts around 70mph swept across the Province and County Armagh – along with Down and Antrim – bore the brunt of the high winds.

NIE’s Local Incident Centres across the Province remain open and NIE emergency crews and engineers have been working since early morning to repair damage and clear any trees which have fallen across the electricity network.

Julia Carson, NIE Communications Manager, has urged the public to report any power cuts.

“If you are without power, we need to know. Contact the NIE Customer Helpline on 03457 643 643 or report the fault online at nie.co.uk,” she said.

“We would also remind customers to take care in these conditions and if you do come across any network damage, please report it immediately on NIE’s Customer Helpline 03457 643 643.  Under no circumstances should you approach any downed powerlines or broken poles.”

Weather conditions should see cold and clear periods this evening, with scattered showers expected to fall increasingly as snow on higher ground and also landing at lower levels.

Gales will continue this evening and are expected to be severe in coastal areas, but forecasters say they should ease overnight.

Driving conditions, however, are expected to be hazardous with two weather warnings in place for snow and ice.

The public are being asked to exercise extreme caution.

Picture: The tailbacks on the Portadown Road after an electricity pole was felled earlier today.

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