'Yellow' alert issued as Atlantic storm set to wallop the country this weekend
HOUSEHOLDERS and business owners have been warned to take "precautionary measures" ahead of another Atlantic storm which will hit Ireland this weekend.
It follows warnings of possible flooding caused by high tides and gale-force winds most likely to affect west coast areas.
Met Eireann has issued a "status yellow'' weather alert for all counties today, as gusts of between 80 and 110kph, sweep inland from early morning.
Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry and Limerick are most at risk from this latest bout of bad weather.
Limerick City and County Council says its outdoor staff and emergency crews were on standby to deal with any incidents arising from the high tide and stormy conditions. The council warned that members of the public should "exercise caution" in the vicinity of the Shannon in Limerick city, and along the Shannon Estuary at Askeaton, Foynes and Glin.
Elsewhere, Shannon Foynes Port Company has also undertaken some repair works in the Port area at Foynes, one of the locations worst affected by coastal flooding in late December.
"We are appealing to land, home and business owners, particularly those in flood-prone locations, to exercise increased vigilance concerning the potential for localised flooding," said Paul Crowe from Limerick City and County Council.
Forecasters predict frequent heavy showers, some thundery with sleet and snow, for a time, mainly on higher ground.
"Friday will be very wet and windy, and there's a rainfall warning in operation for the whole country," said Joanna Donnelly from the Met Office.
It is feared locations along the coast weakened or damaged by previous storms over Christmas and into the New Year will be worst affected by this latest bout of bad weather.
The entire country faces possibly three days of heavy rainfall and 110kph gales.
Met Eireann says counties up and down the west coast will face "damaging" winds of up to 130kmph tomorrow, where an orange warning is in effect, the second highest warning level.