Saturday 15 December 2018

Storm Brian: Centre of Atlantic 'weather bomb' now over Kildare as it sweeps across the country

  • Centre of Storm Brian now over Kildare - Met Éireann
  • South of country experienced gusts of up to 130k/hr this morning
  • Delays on a number of rail routes, other trains cancelled
  • Parts of Limerick city flooded
  • Three weather warnings in place until Saturday night
  • Motorists urged to take extreme care as flash floods reported nationwide
  • People urged to stay away from the coast

Denise Calnan and Hayley Halpin

The centre of Storm Brian is now over Kildare as the country is warned to expect heavy downpours, followed by strong winds.

The south of the country experienced gusts of up to 130km/h this morning, as the country continues to be battered with high winds and heavy rain, less than a week after ex-Hurricane Ophelia devastated parts of Ireland.

A status orange wind warning is now live for the coasts of Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Wexford and will remain in place until 10pm tonight.

Met Éireann has warned that it will be extremely windy in the south and west with storm conditions around the coasts.

Southeast winds of up to 65km/h and gusts of up to 110km/h are expected throughout the day, while up to 55mm of rain is expected over a 24 hour period.

Limerick City has already experienced flash flooding along the quays this morning.

"Tomorrow will be much less windy, the day will bring bright showers and scattered showers but rain will spread from the Atlantic during the afternoon and evening," a Met Éireann forecaster told RTE Radio One this morning.

Residents and business owners in Cork prepared for flash flooding as high tide was due at 7am. Meanwhile, in Galway, authorities have placed an 'aqua-dam' along the seafront.

Mounting waves at Dun Laoghaire pier yesterday afternoon. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Mounting waves at Dun Laoghaire pier yesterday afternoon. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

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.

"It is extremely windy in the south and west today, it will be stormy on the coasts with a risk of flooding," RTE Radio News reports.

"There will be severe gusts on the coasts this afternoon and winds nationwide.

"Heavy downpours will move in across the country.

"And there is a warning as southwesterly winds move west to northwest, reaching gale-force."

Transport

The storm is causing disruption to ferry crossings and rail services due to the expected strong gales.

There will be no services on Limerick Junction to Waterford, Limerick to Ballybrophy via Nenagh today.

Meanwhile a number of services will be running late by between 15 and 30 minutes due to safety concerns.

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 today have also been cancelled. Friday's ferries did not sail.

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.

A series of warnings are in place for motorists today who are being urged to take care due to flooding in parts and also because of the risk of falling trees and other debris.

These fears are heightened due to the fact that roadside trees and hedges, roof tiles or slates may have been weakened or dislodged as a result of Storm Ophelia.

The Road Safety Authority has urged drivers to take heed of their advice on driving in windy conditions, while gardaí and the AA are monitoring road conditions nationwide.

Despite worsening weather conditions on Friday ESB crews continued to work to restore the thousands of customers still without power after the historic storm.

Last night the utility confirmed that 29,000 customers remain without power and restoration work may have to stop due to conditions brought about by Storm Brian.

In Wexford, one of the counties worst affected by outages the council warned that the number of people without power may increase due to Storm Brian.

Meanwhile, Irish Water said the number of customers without water was 1,000 and the number at risk of losing supply stood at 100.

Warning

People have been particularly warned to avoid coastal areas as Storm Brian is expected to bring strong Atlantic waves.

The Department of Sport issued a warning on Friday urging people to avoid exposed coastal areas including beaches, piers and cliffs.

"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".

Also for racing fans the Fairyhouse will make a decision on today's race meeting at 8am on Saturday morning.

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