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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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National wind warning issued and 'intense bursts of rain' expected

Rain warnings are in place for some counties amid flooding risk.

Updated Sep 17th 2018, 9:50 PM

irl Met Éireann's rainfall radar Source: Met Éireann

MET ÉIREANN HAS issued a Status Yellow national wind warning as the country prepares to receive the tail end of ex-Hurricane Helene.

The warning will come into effect at 5am on Wednesday and will remain in place until 5pm that day

Met Éireann has said it will be “very windy across Ireland from early on Wednesday morning until evening”.

South to southwest winds will reach mean speeds of 50 to 65 km/hr with gusts of 90 to 110 km/hr, strongest in southern, western and northern coastal areas.

An earlier Status Yellow rainfall warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo will remain in place until 5am tomorrow.

Met Éireann has also warned about flooding risks, and between midday and midnight 25 to 40mm of rainfall are expected over western counties.

Following a briefing about the former hurricane today, a spokesperson said: “The arrival of Helene heralds the beginning of a very active period of weather this week…

Intense bursts of rain may bring some spot flooding tonight. But most will clear by early Tuesday morning.

They added that strong winds and heavy rain are expected in the coming days.

“There is potential that wind or rainfall warnings will be required in at least some parts of the country over the next few days associated with these Atlantic low pressure systems.”

Motorists 

The AA earlier urged motorists to be vigilant in the face of the heavy rain to come. Conor Faughnan, its director of consumer affairs, stressed the risk of flooding is “quite high” with roads expected to be significantly more slippery as a result due to the extended dry spell seen over the summer.

“Slowing down and slowing extra distance between yourself and other road users, especially vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, will be vital,” he said this afternoon.

Driving in heavy rain is something that motorists across the country are well practiced in and ultimately it does not appear that Helene will bring weather conditions anywhere near as serious as what parts of the country saw last year with Ophelia. That said, however, we can’t get complacent where road safety is concerned so it’s important that motorists adapt their driving to the conditions.

He urged motorists to avoid driving through flood water, but if they absolutely needed to do so to drop their speed and use a lower gear in order to avoid damaging their car and irritating other motorists.

Homeless 

Meanwhile, homeless action group Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) said, due to the weather forecast, it has serious concerns for homeless people who will be sleeping rough tomorrow night.

The severity of the storm could change over the next 24 hours but there are still fears that it could bring severe flooding and loss of power.

ICHH CEO Anthony Flynn said: “We will continue to monitor the tracking of Storm Helene and will be putting a contingency plan in place throughout the day on Monday to increase services if required for the people sleeping in doorways, parks and other areas off the beaten track across Dublin.

Extra emergency beds are urgently required as it is and we have requested that an additional 150 beds are made available immediately before winter arrives.

“We cannot be in a position again where the additional beds only become available in December and we are requesting that extreme weather protocols are taken for Storm Helene and additional beds are left available throughout the winter months.”

Additional reporting by Cianan Brennan and Órla Ryan 

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