Monday 21 January 2019

Storm Brian: Atlantic 'weather bomb' moves across the country causing flooding and travel disruption

  • Three weather warnings in place
  • Trains cancelled and passengers warned to expect delays on some routes
  • People urged to avoid exposed coastal areas
  • Ferries cancelled
  • Flooding reported across the country
  • Cork prepares for second bout of severe weather
  • Flood prevention measures put in place in Galway
  • 29,000 customers remain without power after Ophelia
Flood barriers are readied in Galway City in preparation for the arrival of Storm Brian
Flood barriers are readied in Galway City in preparation for the arrival of Storm Brian
Mounting waves at Dun Laoghaire pier yesterday afternoon. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos Newsdesk Newsdesk

Storm Brian is set to cause travel chaos around the country with a number of rail and ferry routes cancelled and flooding reported on roads across the country.

With the country still reeling from the damage caused by Storm Ophelia on Monday, Storm Brian is now poised to batter Ireland with yet more strong winds, as well as large amounts of rain.

A Status Orange wind warning is in effect from 10pm tonight until 10pm tomorrow for counties Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Wexford.

A Status Yellow wind warning is in effect for the same period for counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Limerick and Tipperary.

There is also a Status Yellow rain warning ongoing until 9pm Saturday for counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.

Public transport

Iarnród Éireann have announced that two services for tomorrow have been cancelled with no services on Limerick Junction to Waterford, Limerick to Ballybrophy via Nenagh.

And, due to a 50mph speed restriction, there will be delays of 15 to 30 minutes on services on Saturday morning.

Shannon Airport has also advised passengers to contact their airline before travelling to the airport.

“Shannon Airport is fully operational and we are continually monitoring weather conditions," they said in a  statemment.

"As a status orange wind warning is in place, we are advising passengers intending to fly from Shannon Airport to contact their airline before travelling to the airport. This is a precautionary measure and is in effect until the storm is expected to abate on Saturday evening.”

Brittany Ferries sailings from Roscoff / Cork (20th October) and Cork / Roscoff (21st October) have also been cancelled.

Brittany Ferries is currently contacting all passengers scheduled to travel to offer assistance.

Dublin Airport however has said it does not expect any significant impact from Storm Brian but has advised people to check with their airline.


The heavy rain has already hit Cork especially hard, with the AA issuing warnings to drivers in several areas of the country where spot flooding has occurred.

There are several reports of spot flooding and surface water in Cork City and county, which has already been battered by the ex-hurricane Ophelia this week.

Sandbags were handed out today amid fears of flooding and Cork County Council are providing live updates of flooded roads.

Gardai are advising people to avoid the Bailick Road in Midleton as conditions there are treacherous.


Measures are being taken to prevent the river Shannon flooding, with the river already at a high level due to heavy rain.

In Galway an 'aquadam' has been put in place at the Spanish Arch in anticipation of high water levels.

The AA has advised motorists to only drive through water if it's not too deep for your car. Meanwhile, the Road Safety Authority has also urged people to take care.

Coastal warning:

The Department of Transport have also issued a warning to people to heed the weather advise from Met Eireann and avoid exposed coastal areas.  In a statement the department said:

"The eye of the storm will pass over the country on Friday night and early Saturday morning.

"During periods of stormy weather, we're asking people to take extra care. Rough seas and extreme weather might look exciting, but getting too close can be risky. So respect the water and, in particular, avoid exposed places where big waves could sweep you off your feet.

"The Coast Guard strongly advises the public to stay away from exposed beaches, cliffs and piers, harbour walls and promenades along the coast tomorrow.

"Remember to stay back, stay high, stay dry".

Large Atlantic waves are expected on the west coast according to forecasters.

Ophelia clean-up

ESB Networks have said that 29,000 customers remain without power after Storm Ophelia and if conditions become unsafe, they will have to prevent crews from carrying out restoration work.

Irish Water say that the number of customers without water is now 2,300, down from 109,000 at the height of Storm Ophelia.

They also add that their Crisis Management team will continue to meet due to Storm Brian, and generators, water tankers and bottled water will remain available for customers who need them in affected counties.

Wexford County Council has said "the storm is likely to impact on ESB work and may increase the current number of customers without power upwards again".

"Crews will almost certainly be stood down from work as the storm passes.  Throughout the remainder of this evening and tonight, it is vitally important that the public continue to act responsibly and remain extremely vigilant when outdoors or when travelling," the council said.

The public have also been warned to be wary of   roadside trees and hedges, roof tiles, slates, etc which may have been weakened or dislodged as a result of Storm Ophelia.


Fairyhouse Racecourse has said they are monitoring the weather, and the path of Storm Brian, and will make an update of the situation ahead of tomorrow’s planned meeting at 8am on Saturday morning.

“In the interests of the safety of horses, racing professionals and racegoers, and all those travelling to and from Fairyhouse tomorrow, in consultation with the Clerk of the Course, Brendan Sheridan, we have decided the best course of events is to make a more accurate judgement call at 8am tomorrow morning," Racecourse Manager, Peter Roe.

In Waterford Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium has cancelled tonight's racing due to safety concerns.

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