Friday 18 October 2019

Orange and yellow weather warnings issued ahead of Storm Lorenzo

Storm Lorenzo will have an ‘unpredictable impact’ on Ireland but flooding and power outages are likely to occur.

By Aine McMahon, PA

A status orange wind warning and a yellow rain warning have been issued for Thursday evening as Storm Lorenzo is expected to make landfall in Ireland.

A yellow rainfall warning for Ireland will be in place between 9am on Thursday and 9am on Friday.

The status orange wind warning for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick will be in place from 6pm on Thursday until 3am on Friday.

Irish forecaster Met Eireann said spells of heavy rain, in excess of 50mm in parts of the west and north west, will result in flooding.

The worst affected areas are expected to be in the south and west of the country, with counties Mayo, Sligo, Kerry and Clare to be hit.

The Met Office is warning of transport disruption and power cuts in Northern Ireland on Thursday and Friday.

It said the storm, which is due to hit Northern Ireland on Thursday, is expected to bring heavy rain and wind speeds of up to 60mph in coastal areas.

Lorenzo is currently a hurricane but by the time it reaches Ireland on Thursday, it will be downgraded to a storm, Met Eireann has said.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said Storm Lorenzo will have an “unpredictable impact” on Ireland but flooding and power outages are likely to occur.

Mr Murphy was speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group in Dublin to discuss preparations and contingency plans for the storm.

“This weather event will be different in different parts of the country. It’s not one homogenous weather event. People need to pay attention to local conditions and act accordingly,” he said.

Mr Murphy said Lorenzo is around 20 hours away from Ireland and things may change in that time.

“This is a national event in terms of being a wind and rain status yellow. Six counties on the west coast, notice that’s orange. This is where our primary concern is, in terms of wave surges and coastal flooding.”

Mr Murphy urged people to check in on their neighbours and the elderly on Wednesday evening.

“Make sure that they have batteries, torches, phone chargers in their cars and their Eircode to hand as well, in case of an emergency,” he said.

Derek Flanagan, of the Irish Coast Guard, appealed to people to stay back from coastal roads and piers in the counties covered by the status orange warning.

“Our advice to people is, stay back, stay high and stay dry,” said Mr Flanagan.

Brian Farrell, of the Road Safety Authority, warned of the dangers of cross-winds and urged motorists to check their tyres and not drive through flooded roads.

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