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Storm Ciara: Weather warnings extended as snow, ice and gusts of up to 130km/h expected


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Fresh weather warnings have been issued and we have been urged to brace ourselves for gusts of up to 130km/h, Arctic conditions with snow, sleet and temperatures of -1C 

Met Éireann warned that temperatures will plummet from Monday with lows of -1C and a risk of snow across parts of both the west and north.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued this evening for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry and will be in place from 6am until 8pm on Monday.

A Status Yellow wind warning is also currently in place nationwide and is valid until 8pm tomorrow.

Wrap up warm as a Snow and Ice Status Yellow warning has also been issued for the entire country from just after midnight 23.59pm on Tuesday.

The windy conditions that the country has experienced over the last few days will continue and according to Matthew Martin, this will make the coming days bitterly cold, with significant wind chill.

"There will be some snow accumulating, primarily in high ground, but other areas could see some snow too," he told the Irish Independent.

"While snow showers may develop anywhere they will occur chiefly in parts of the west and north, with some accumulations possible. Some areas can expect probably around 3cm of snow, but we haven't put a number on that yet."

"The most prominent thing is the wind chill factor that will make it feel very cold. It will actually be around 3C to 6C but the wind chill will make it feel more like freezing."

Motorists were advised by Gardai and the Road Safety Authority to exercise caution as driving conditions, particularly during the morning commute, will be quite challenging in some areas. "Monday will be bitterly cold and very windy with a significant wind chill factor," a spokesperson said

The highest temperatures across Monday will be 6C, some six degrees lower than last week - with further showers of sleet and snow likely on Monday night into Tuesday.

The icy snap follows hard on the heels to Storm Ciara where winds of 130kmh caused chaos in coastal areas and parts of the south and west. In Dublin, a pedestrian had a lucky escape when he was struck by a falling tree in Crumlin at the height of Storm Ciara.

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Luckily, the injuries sustained were not life threatening. It was one of multiple calls attended by Dublin Fire Brigade members during a hectic 24 hours.

Dublin fire brigade also attended a number of properties in the north inner city where basements flooded from the sheer volume of rainwater dumped by Storm Ciara.

Fire fighters used special cellar pumps to deal with the flooded properties involved. Almost 15,000 homes were without power with the worst hit areas being Clare, Kerry, Galway and Waterford as the storm knocked trees and brought down power lines.
Storm Ciara also resulted in more than 2,000 homes losing power in Northern Ireland.

The ESB stressed that repair crews were on standby but were only be able to commence work when it is safe to do so. It is hoped to have everyone reconnected from this morning.

Storm Ciara also played havoc with sporting and cultural events - with Galway's Capital of Culture opening celebration cancelled along with dozens of sporting events nationwide.

All camogie matches were cancelled - while a number of Lidl national football league matches including the Laois-Cavan game were called off. The League of Ireland's Presidents Cup between Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers was also called off.

Punchestown races also called off and rescheduled for Tuesday. A Status Orange wind warning from Met Éireann remained in place until lunchtime - with driving conditions in some areas described as extremely hazardous.

In some exposed coastal areas, Gardai urged motorists to exercise extreme caution and only to undertake essential journeys.
A number of high span bridges have been closed amid safety fears including the recently opened Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald bridge which is part of the New Ross bypass.

It is Ireland's highest and longest bridge. The Blackwater bridge on the Dublin-Cork motorway outside Fermoy also witnessed dangerous cross-winds.

Worst hit by the power cuts were coastal parts of Kerry, Ennis in Clare, Tramore in Waterford and Gort in Galway.
A number of lightning strikes were also reported in Cork though the county escaped the worst of the power disruption.

However, greatest concern was focused on the threat posed by flooding. Heavy overnight rainfall has resulted in spot flooding on roads in Roscommon, Waterford, Mayo, Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Kildare and Sligo.

A number of roads were temporarily closed as a result. Road were also closed due to fallen trees with council staff nationwide on high alert and prepared for removal works.

The combination of high tides and wind direction also posed a serious threat of flooding along some coastal areas, particularly in the west and south.

Motorists were urged to avoid exposed coastal areas - and people have been warned not to attempt to walk or take photographs by such coastal areas given the danger posed by wind gusts of up to 130kmh.

Irish Water Safety urged people to follow safety guidelines while Met Éireann stressed that the winds along some coastal areas will be powerful enough "to pose a threat to both life and property."

The powerful winds and stormy seas also resulted in the cancellation of ferry sailings from both Rosslare and Dublin and the temporary disruption of some flight services from Dublin and Shannon.

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