Wednesday 21 November 2018

Status Yellow wind warning in effect as Storm Eleanor clean up continues

  • New Status Yellow weather warning issued
  • Sleet and wet snow forecast for north of the country
  • Gardai warn motorists on minor roads to take care
  • Financial support offered to those worst affected
  • South and west coast warned of 'real risk' of further flooding
  • Two more mini-storms on the way
A man taking photographs gets caught by crashing waves at High Rock in Portmarnock, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
A man taking photographs gets caught by crashing waves at High Rock in Portmarnock, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
High tide in Galway this morning, January 4. Pic Andrew Downes
Storm Eleanor left a wake of destruction behind her as she passed through The Quays in Westport where she tossed yacht's from their moorings (Photo: Paul Mealy)
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Large swathes of the country remain under a Status Yellow weather warning this morning as the danger of coastal flooding remains.

An updated Status Yellow weather warning for Munster, Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Galway and Mayo came into effect at 5am today and runs until 1pm this afternoon.

It warns that winds of a mean speed of 55 to 65kmh can be expected with gusts in those places hitting between 90 and 110 kmh.

It also advises that there is a risk of coastal flooding on western and southern coasts of Ireland.

Heavy rain along with sleet or wet snow is also forecast for higher ground in the north of the country this morning.

Gardai reported this morning that there was flooding on routes around Bantry in Cork.

They have also warned motorists to watch out for fallen debris on minor roads.

The AA report that the N71 is impassable between Bell Height and the suspension bridge in Kenmare.

The AA also report that there is flooding on the R152 approximately 2km before Kilmoon Cross and motorists are being asked to avoid the road.

ESB Networks have also reported that a 'large fault' is affecting Cobh and surrounding areas and that it will be after midday before power is restored.

High tide passed in Cork city last night without flooding, however the flood warning remains in place.

Galway escaped without any further flooding this morning.

However, more mini-storms are expected today and tomorrow before a "dramatic change" sees temperatures plummet.

Homeowners and businesses along the south and west coast are now being warned of a "real risk" of further flooding in the wake of Storm Eleanor.

Chair of National Emergency Co-ordination Centre Sean Hogan said there is "unfortunately still some threat coming towards us".

Mr Hogan said parts of Galway city that are not normally susceptible to floods were hit.

He said adequate warnings were issued to local authorities but there are always "limitations" because storms can change direction at any moment.

"What was a surprise was the extent of what happened in Galway and the speed at which it happened," he said.

Mr Hogan said a combination of wind strength, a change in direction towards Galway and high waves in the Atlantic Ocean caused a surge of water into the city.

He urged people along the south and west coast to stay away from coastlines until the windy weather passes on Friday.

Met Éireann's Evelyn Cusack said two smaller weather events will take place in the southwest in the coming days.

"This is not a major event that we know of as yet," she said, but added that it's "not certain" what way the approaching weather fronts will develop.

By the weekend there will be a "dramatic change" with a return to calm but very cold weather with heavy frost at night.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy insisted suitable preparation and planning was in place in Galway yesterday but forecasters and local authorities "can't predict everything that will happen".

"We believed the main problems would be this morning," he said.

Galway Jan 4.jpg
High tide in Galway this morning, January 4. Pic Andrew Downes

Meanwhile, financial supports have been promised to those affected by Storm Eleanor as a massive clean-up operation is underway in the worst-hit areas and the country braces for continued strong winds.

The storm wreaked havoc from west to east of the country last night bring gusts of 155km/h, causing flooding and leaving thousands without power.

The Department’s Community Welfare Services staff will assess the level of service required across the country, particularly in the Galway area, which was hit with the worst of the flooding.

As the clean-up operations begin, financial supports will be made available to householders affected and the Humanitarian Assistance scheme activated as necessary according to the Government.

High tide has passed this morning in Galway with no flooding. However, emergency services remain on duty and there is a warning that high tide this evening might bring rising waters.

Late last night ESB Networks apologised to customers who were still without power as a result of Storm Eleanor.

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