Storm Barney: Weather warning in operation as 'severe and damaging gusts' batter country
Met Eireann have issued a weather warning this evening as "severe and damaging gusts" are expected to sweep across the country.
Storm Barney is in full swing as gardai warn motorists to be vigilant in the windy conditions, several flights have been disrupted and some 45,000 homes have been left without electricity.
The forecast is for a windy and stormy evening with a Status Orange weather warning in operation for Munster, Leinster and South Connacht.
Dublin, Wicklow, Galway, Kerry, Clare, and Limerick can expect gust speeds to reach upwards of 100-125 km/hr along the coast.
A status yellow warning has also been issued for Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford.
Gardaí are advising motorists to drive with care during the stormy conditions, and have asked for anyone spotting "falling or fallen debris" to contact their local garda station.
Speaking to Independent.ie, a Met Eireann spokesperson said the 'Orange Alert' will come into force in the late afternoon and evening for Dublin and Wicklow, and will remain in place for counties Galway, Clare, Limerick and Kerry for the foreseeable future.
“We are getting the front end of Storm Barney and its affecting mostly the southern half of the country.
Tree fell on bus & car outside Enniscorthy but gladly no injuries. Gda Kelly & O'Sullivan Enniscorthy attended scene pic.twitter.com/rI46BObqtK— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) November 17, 2015
Rain clearing to shwrs this pm However bec v windy or even stormy; severe&possibly damaging gusts strong to gale force w'ly wind.High 9-15C— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) November 17, 2015
Windy/stormy this aft/eve with SW veering W'ly winds bringing severe/damaging gusts with an Orange Wind Warning in op for Mun,Lein &S Conn— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) November 17, 2015
LIMERICK: Fallen pole on the Ennis Rd inbound just past the Gaelic Grounds. Take extreme care in the area. https://t.co/qvBPcgxUj8— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) November 17, 2015
WICKLOW: Fallen tree SB on N11 in hard shoulder betw J6 Bray/ Fassaroe &7 Bray South.Council notified. https://t.co/xIOpAblVS1— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) November 17, 2015
Reports of strong cross winds on parts of the M50. Please slow down, use dipped headlights & indicate early when changing lanes.— M50 Dublin (@M50Dublin) November 17, 2015
I watch you You watch me Get home to your family When you watch the road & avoid a thing or two Put on your lights & I’ll avoid you too .— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) November 17, 2015
“The winds will peak in early afternoon with the southern counties definitely feeling it.”A scattering of showers in the west is expected to extend to all parts of the country by midday, the Met said.
Elsewhere, Limerick City and County Council are warning residents to avoid travel where necessary this evening.
A statement from Limerick Council reads: "It is important that members of the public pay attention to Met Éireann's advisory as this weather system has the potential to deliver Storm Force 10 winds to Limerick for a period during the afternoon to early evening.
"Members of the public are advised to remain indoors where possible during the storm and to stay away from rivers and other water bodies."
Paul Moroney, Senior Engineer for Clare County Council added: "County Clare is likely to be affected to a greater extent than most other areas with the impact extending for a considerable distance inland through the afternoon.
"Our advice is to defer any planned road journeys during this period and to take special care in coastal and exposed areas."
AA RoadWatch is also advising motorists to take precautions “normally appropriate during such weather conditions”, asking drivers to be mindful of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists this afternoon.
“Wind blown debris is likely to be a problem on secondary routes in particular.
“High sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable on open or exposed roads.”
#StormBarney is hitting the west Wales coast now. Debris on roads, power cuts. Take care everyone if you have to drive anywhere tonight— Carol Ritchie (@cazzybrynberian) November 17, 2015
At least av emergency lights in house. 3 hours of light during a power cut.Every home should have it. Power is back ... for now #StormBarney— Padraigh75 (@padraighk) November 17, 2015
Thank god I'm now home, think it's time to batten down the hatches as it's blowing a hooley out there! #StormBarney— Sharon (@ShazsBookBlog) November 17, 2015
Fire crews throughout the country are dealing with fallen trees.
In Dublin, fire crews were dealing with fallen trees in the city centre, Tallaght, Dublin Mountains and the Malahide
A Ryanair flight aborted two attempted landings at Shannon Airport today before being forced to divert to Liverpool.
The airport reported the highest winds in the country as Storm Barney battered the island with the west coast suffering the brunt of its force.
With winds at Cork and Dublin also too strong for Ryanair flight FR-1183 from London Gatwick, the opted to divert to the nearest suitable airport which in this case was Liverpool.
The flight was due in Shannon at 2.40pm and the crew had commenced an approach when they decided to abort the attempt. The crew performed a ‘go-around’ procedure and entered a holding pattern in the hope the winds would die down.
The pilot confirmed that the maximum wind speed in which they could land was 50 knots (92.6 kmh) and they would not be able to land in anything higher than that.
A short time later, the crew commenced a second approach to the airport however winds were still too strong for a safe landing.
At the time, winds at Shannon Airport were gusting as high as 61 knots (113 kmh) while later, winds reached as high as 69 knots (128 kmh).
Winds in Dublin and Cork were also reported to be gusting over the 50 knot limit so the flight was unable to land at either airport.
A Ryanair spokeswoman said: "This flight from London Gatwick to Shannon performed a routine go-around before diverting to Liverpool due to high winds at Shannon Airport.
"The aircraft landed normally at Liverpool and will depart for Shannon when the weather improves. Ryanair sincerely apologised to all customers affected by this weather diversion which was entirely beyond our control."
Elsewhere in Clare, Shannon Ferries, which operates between Killimer in Clare and Tarbert in Kerry suspended sailings as a result of the winds.
The fire service and council staff responded to multiple reports of trees that fell on roadways in various parts of the county.
In Ennis, a road-sign buckled under the force of the wind and crashed onto the footpath near the town’s rail and bus station. No one was injured in that incident.
Two motorists escaped serious injury when they lost control of their cars in separate incidents on the M18 motorway. The first happened at around 7.30am in the northbound lane between Barefield and Crusheen.
Shortly before 1.00pm, a car lost control and collided with a crash barrier in the central reservation of the M18 between Newmarket on Fergus and Dromoland.
Units of the fire brigade from Shannon along with Gardaí and an ambulance responded to the incident.
One fire service vehicle created a rolling roadblock and brought traffic to a safe stop before they reached the accident scene. One person has been taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Traffic had been backed up for over a kilometre for about 40 minutes before one lane of the route was reopened. Once the crashed car was removed from the scene, the second land of the motorway was also opened.
As gale-force winds batter large parts of the country, Garda have shared footage of a patrol car's close call with a falling branch during high winds to warned motorists to stay safe this evening.
In a video posted its official Facebook page, a Garda spokesperson shared a near miss incident involving one of its Burglary Response units.
"Be careful out there! Severe weather warning in place!!
"Damage caused to Garda Burglary Response car in Blanchardstown on November 12th in high winds - expect the unexpected and drive safely if travelling in such conditions."
Some 45,000 households are without electricity this evening as Storm Barney sweeps across the country.
Faults to the ESB network were caused by gale force winds with mean speeds of between 65 to 70km/hr, and with gusts of up to 120km/hr.
The main areas affected are Tullamore, Loughrea, Athlone, Ennis, Tralee, Limerick, Killarney, Newcastlewest, Kilkenny, Clonmel, Roscrea, Bray and Arklow.
ESB Networks have dispatched crews to these areas and are working to restore supply as quickly as possible,
Estimated restoration times, when available, will be updated on http://www.esbpowercheck.ie