COASTAL AREAS AROUND Ireland have been battered by the strong winds and high tides overnight, with damage being caused to homes, businesses and roads.
Today, Met Éireann is continuing to warn that it will stay extremely windy in parts of the west and north this afternoon – and gusts of 90 to 120km/h can be expected, as well as further heavy showers.
Tonight, winds will continue to ease off, with any showers becoming confined to Atlantic coastal counties.
There is the possibility of frost as temperatures fall to between -2 and +2 degrees, and due to surface water there will be the risk of icy patches.
With this in mind, the Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to remain cautious while using the roads
The RSA’s advice to road users is:
- Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected.
- Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road
- Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds.
- Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
- Drive with dipped headlights at all times
- Monitor radio weather broadcasts while travelling
- Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out, carry a screen scraper and de-icer.
- Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
- Remember it takes longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Drive slowly and allow extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
- Watch out for black ice, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
- Check tyres, including spare wheel, to ensure minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and correct tyre pressure.
Pedestrians and cyclists are encouraged to be seen, and to wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt. They are also asked to take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow them into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
When walking, walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths
Be extremely careful as frost will make walking on footpaths very dangerous. Make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear, wear shoes or boots with appropriate traction
While walking, don’t keep your hands in your pockets; walk with your hands out and wear gloves so you can break your fall if you do slip.
Road closures and clean-ups
In the capital, Dublin City Council had closed a number of roads because of high tides, but these have since been re-opened as flood waters have receded.
In Clare, the County Council has confirmed that Lahinch Promenade will remain closed to the public until further notice after the promenade walkways and seawall were “seriously comprised” during stormy weather overnight.
Council Senior Engineer Tom Tiernan said:
We are advising members of the public to stay away from the seafront for their own safety to enable the authorities to assess the damage caused to the promenade.
He said that flooding is receding in the Promenade area, but that the threat of further flooding with this evening’s high tide remains a source of concern.
They are urging home and business owners, particularly those in low lying coastal areas, to take precautionary steps.
In Cork, there was flooding overnight, and there is a particular risk predicted for the morning tide periods tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.
There are currently no roads closed in Cork, but residents are told to be on alert as the high tides approach, in case of more flooding.
In Galway, the City Council said that parts of the promenade in Salthill remain closed to traffic, and that Seapoint Promenade from Grattan Road to the Atlantaquarium and a stretch of the road in front of the Galway Bay and Salthill Hotel are still flooded.
There are large amounts of debris, including stones and seaweed being cleared by City Council crews after being deposited during the floods in the Salthill area.
The Leisureland complex was flooded, and will remain closed to the public until at least Monday.
While the streets and roads around the Fr Griffin Road, Spanish Arch, Flood Street and Docks area reopened to traffic earlier, there is still a risk of potential further flooding in the area around high tide this evening, said the council.
High tide this evening is at 6.30pm and high tide can be expected tomorrow at 6.48am and 7.18pm, and Sunday morning at 7.36am.
In Belfast, additional sandbag barriers are being put in place in the Docks area to combat flooding.
Sandbags are being put in place at both the Clarendon Street/Dock Streetjunction, and at the Dock Street/Nelson Street junction.
The PSNI said that it expected some flooding in the Clarendon Dock, Corporation Street and Sailortown area at 12 noon, and is encouraging residents there to begin taking steps to protect their property.
Police and other agencies will be continuing to work in the Sydenham area to ensure that the extra sandbag flood defences are in place.
The assessments for Derry, Killough, Newcastle, Newry, Larne and Strangford areas show a slightly reduced flood risk from what had previously been expected, said the PSNI.
Flooding advice is available on Flooding.ie.