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Dublin: 2 °C Thursday 23 November, 2017
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Trains to be suspended and power repairs put on hold as Storm Brian closes in

Thousands of homes across the country are still without power after Storm Ophelia landed on Monday.

storm 523_90526848 Source: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

Updated at 8pm

Local authorities are preparing for floods and falling trees ahead of Storm Brian, warning people to avoid coastal areas this weekend.

It’s been announced that some train services will be delayed or suspended tomorrow due to the extreme weather forecast, and ESB Network repairs have been put on hold.

In Cork, the county worst affected by Storm Ophelia, the council is taking more extreme precautions ahead of the storm.

Tidal surges are expected this evening at 6pm, which could lead to flooding in low-lying areas in Bantry, Clonakilty, Youghal and Midleton.

Storm Brian Clonakilty awaits the arrival of Storm Brian as rain starts to lash the west Cork town. Source: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

Road users have also been warned to watch out for overhanging trees, surface water and remaining debris. Cork County Council has also closed the following roads until they have been cleared of fallen trees:

  • R627 Midleton to Dungourney (expected to open later today)
  • R597 Glandore
  • R632 Ladysbridge to Garryvoe
  • R590 Crookstown to Macroom.

Kevin O’Sullivan of the Labour party said that ahead of Storm Brian, “as a precaution”, the tide gates on the River Dodder and at Merrion Gates were closed today and will remain closed until Monday morning 23 October.

“In addition, the Car Parks on Strand Road, Sandymount will also be closed,” he said.

Clare County Council also warned people to avoid the coast ahead of the forecasted gusts of 90 to 110km/h and Status Yellow rainfall warnings.

What’s been forecast?

17/10/2017. Storm Ophelia Aftermaths Garretstown Beach in West Cork. Source: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

Yellow and Orange Status weather warnings will come into effect overnight as Storm Brian reaches Ireland.

While Met Eireann says the wind and rain will not be comparable to the weather brought on by Storm Ophelia on Monday, warnings about wind and rain will come into effect at 3am tomorrow morning.

An orange wind warning – predicting gusts of up to 130km/h -will be in place for the coasts of Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Wexford until 6pm tomorrow, with a yellow warning for the rest of the country.

A yellow rainfall warning will come into effect this morning at 9am for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford. Rainfall of up to 50mm is forecast.

It will be bright and sunny for a time today, before rain moves in the afternoon.

In the wake of the wet and windy weather tomorrow, conditions are forecast to improve on Sunday – although the day will still be fairly breezy with scattered showers.

Transport

Iarnród Éireann are forecasting delays to its services tomorrow due to Storm Brian. Delays of between 15 to 30 minutes are expected on the following routes:

From the first train

  • Tralee to Mallow
  • Cork to Dublin
  • Waterford to Dublin
  • Rosslare Europort to Dublin

From 12pm

  • Limerick to Limerick Junction
  • Limerick to Galway
  • Galway to Dublin
  • Westport to Dublin
  • Sligo to Dublin

Suspended trains

  • Limerick to Ballybrophy via Nenagh
  • Limerick Junction to Waterford

There will also be speed restrictions of 50mp/h on railway lines in the west, south and south-east of the country due to the Status Orange wind warning that’s in place.

A spokeswoman for Shannon Airport said that its operations were continuing as normal for now, but they’re “continually monitoring weather conditions”.

“As a Status Orange wind warning is in place, we are advising passengers intending to fly from Shannon Airport to contact their airline before travelling to the airport.

“This is a precautionary measure and is in effect until the storm is expected to abate on Saturday evening.”

Restoring power

Thousands of people across these counties are still without power after Storm Ophelia battered the country on Monday.

Of the 380,000 homes that were left without power in the aftermath of the ex-hurricane, ESB Networks said that as of today only 42,000 still remain without power. The ESB will make an announcement this afternoon on preparations for Storm Brian.

This afternoon, Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe welcomed French crews that arrived at Rosslare Europort to assist ESB Networks in restoring power to its customers.

Water has also been restored from a peak of 109,000 customers to 2,300.

The affected customers are: 488 people in Cork; 533 people in Waterford; 757 people in Wexford; and 500 people in Kilkenny.

Drivers

The Road Safety Authority is asking road users to “exercise caution” while using the roads on tonight into tomorrow morning.

There will be risk of coastal flooding in areas as Brian tracks eastwards across central and southern parts of Ireland.

The RSA had the following advice for road users during the storm:

  • 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
  • Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds
  • Use dipped headlights at all times.

And, for drivers in wet conditions, the RSA advised taking extra care by slowing down on wet roads, be aware of the dangers of aquaplaining on motorways and avoiding flooded routes.

First published at 7.18am. With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

Read: Status Orange wind warning in place for 7 counties as Storm Brian approaches

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