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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Storm Brian: Everything you need to know today as the Atlantic 'weather bomb' causes travel disruption and flooding

  • Delays on a number of rail routes, other trains cancelled
  • 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
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 Newsdesk Newsdesk

Storm Brian has arrived and is battering the country with high winds and heavy rain, less than a week after ex-hurricane Ophelia wreaked havoc. Here is everything you need to know.

What weather warnings are in place and for how long?

A Status Orange wind warning is in effect until 10pm on Saturday night for counties Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Wexford.

 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.

Are there transport disruptions?

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.

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

“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.

What about the roads?

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.

Cork, which is recovering from the effects of Monday's severe weather, was hit with a number of flash floods in both the city and county.

Kilkenny, Tipperary and Roscommon were also hit with spot flooding on roads.

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

Cork county council is providing regular updates on their Twitter account.

Is there a flood risk?

Apart from the risk of flash flooding and surface water on roads around the country precautions have also been taken to prevent flooding in areas of high risk.

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

Cork City Council has also deployed sandbags to vulnerable areas and similar action was taken amid fears the River Shannon may also flood. 

What does this mean for the Storm Ophelia clean-up?

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.

Anything else I should know about?

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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