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Code Red as 'ferocious' storm hits Ireland

There is a red weather warning in place for nine counties and the storm is expected to be “at its most ferocious” tomorrow morning.

WEATHER WARNINGS REMAIN in place across the country this evening after the Government held a press conference to discuss the severe conditions we have been experiencing in the last few days.

Temperatures have dropped, there is snow in many places and Met Éireann upgraded its wind warning for nine counties to red for the remainder of tonight and tomorrow morning.

To keep up with the latest updates overnight check:

Welcome, and let’s bring you all up to date about the situation as it stands.

A Government press conference at the National Emergency Coordination Centre has just finished.

There is a red weather warning in place for the following counties:

  • Donegal
  • Sligo
  • Mayo
  • Galway
  • Clare
  • Limerick
  • Kerry
  • Cork
  • Leitrim

The rest of the country is under a status orange warning and there is a yellow rain warning in place for:

  • Connacht
  • Donegal
  • Clare
  • Cork
  • Kerry
  • Limerick

At the press conference earlier, Met Éireann’s Gerald Flemming said high winds will continue right beyond the weekend.

Southern counties will be mostly affected this evening but the wast of the country will bear the brunt of the winds after midnight.

Flemming said this storm will be “at its most ferocious” between 6-9am tomorrow.

In the nine counties where there is a Status Red wind warning, schools have been advised not to open as the most severe weather is forecast for the time at which children and staff will be trying to travel in.

Radio Kerry has compiled a list of schools in the county that will be closed tomorrow.

We just had a look at Met Éireann’s rainfall radar. That escalated quickly…


If you’re living in Clare, the county council has established an Emergency Call Centre.

The emergency number – 1890 252 943 – was established for members of the public to report fallen trees, blocked roads and flooding.

The number will be operational from 8pm this evening.

Wind gusts of up between 130km per hour and 150km per hour are likely on higher ground and in exposed coastal locations of Clare over the period and the storm will also incorporate periods of significant rainfall.

In a statement this evening, the council said:

The advice is not to venture out or to drive on exposed roads while these conditions prevail.

Gardaí are advising people to exercise extreme caution near water ways and cliff walks. They said bringing children to look at the high waves is “totally unacceptable and irresponsible”. You’ve been told.

Still, it’s nice to see they are keeping their sense of humour:

ESB Networks has warned of the risks and dangers posed by this severe storm.

Mainly, don’t approach or touch fallen or low-hanging wires. If you spot any, call 1850 372999 to report it.

They also said customers in affected areas should prepare themselves for loss of supply.

  • Make sure your phone is fully charged
  • Prepare hot drinks in flasks
  • Have torches, batteries and extra blankets to hand

The company has provided this handy video which tells you what to do if you are affected by a power outage:

ESB Networks / YouTube

You’ll find more information on their website and Twitter account.

Let’s do a quick recap. These are all of the weather warnings that are in place for the country at the moment, with seven counties in particular facing extreme gusts.

Click here for larger version Click here for larger version

Irish Rail is experiencing a few issues, with a signal fault in Cork:

Are any of you having trouble getting home from work?

There’s also flooding in Sligo, where heavy rain is forecast over the next 24 hours:

Lads, they’re really not kidding about the wind.

http: / / http: / / / /

More than 1,500 people are without power across the country. The largest number is in Castletownbere in Cork, where a fault is affecting 478 people.

Powercheck Powercheck

ESB Networks say they are working to repair the faults and will restore power as quickly as possible.

Though the severe weather will certainly be causing problems for people in parts of the country, some were enjoying the snow we’ve been having in the last few days.

Pretty in White. Race horses exercise o Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

This little boy was seeing snow for the first time and he’s already a dab hand at snow angels:

Sinead O'Carroll / YouTube

We have a lot of love for this snowman in Sligo as well:

Do you want to build a snowman…?

Giphy Giphy

We’re going to have that song stuck in our heads all evening now…

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has urged farmers and fishermen to take all safety precautions during the adverse weather conditions.

2014 proved to be the worst year for farm accidents since 1992 with 30 deaths reported, while tragic incidents in our fishing industry in recent years resulted in the sad loss of many lives. It is important that these appalling figures focus our minds in respect of farm and fishery safety this year and particularly during adverse weather.

Minister Coveney also drew attention to the ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign and its website which provides some valuable information on being prepared for difficult weather.

Be Winter Ready Be Winter Ready

Included in this campaign is a suggestion that you check in with any sick or elderly neighbours to make sure they are coping with the weather conditions.

If you are in  Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick or Kerry, you might be wondering exactly what a ‘Status Red’ weather warning means.

TrekkerMark TrekkerMark

This is described by The National Coordination Group as a “severe weather warning”.

The issue of RED level severe weather warnings should be a comparatively rare event and implies that recipients take action to protect themselves and/or their properties; this could be by moving their families out of the danger zone temporarily; by staying indoors; or by other specific actions aimed at mitigating the effects of the weather conditions.

Cork Airport has a recent gust of 79 knots, which is about 146km per hour. Yikes.

Last night crews were working hard to make sure planes could take off and land:

You may have seen people referring to ‘Storm Rachel’ on social media and in news articles.

As the Daily Mail points out, no one is too sure where this name came from.

When Met Éireann’s Gerald Fleming was in the office recently, he told us we don’t name storms in Ireland. There is, however, an unofficial naming system that has been in place for a number of decades, run by the Freie University of Berlin.

Video / YouTube

This year, Met Éireann does actually plan to start naming storms. But for now, you can really call it whatever you like.

Some Bus Eireann routes are disrupted:

Anyone arriving in Athlone today received a cold welcome…

Iain Murray Iain Murray

Have you got any pretty (or scary) weather pictures from today or this evening? Send them on to

Daithi asks a valid question:

It’s a serious issue. Wheelie bins are known to take off on their own little adventures when the wind picks up. This happened in October last year:

It just got real for Shel in Cork:

If you are in an area likely to be affected by strong winds, ESB Networks have some advice on how to prepare yourselves, including charging your phone, getting hot drinks ready and into flasks and making sure you have torches and batteries.

Gerald Horgan just sent us this great video of the Dingle coast.

WildAtlantic DinglePeninsula / YouTube

Remember, gardaí have urged extreme caution near waterways and cliff walks and bringing children to look at high waves like the ones above is “totally unacceptable and irresponsible”.

Some criticism of how the storm has been handled:

There are further reports of fallen trees and flooding on roads as we get later into the evening.

The worst is yet to come, unfortunately, as Met Éireann said the storm will be at its most ‘ferocious’ between 6 and 9am tomorrow.

Naturally this happened:

Parents, don’t forget that schools have been advised to remain closed in the following counties:

  • Donegal
  • Sligo
  • Mayo
  • Galway
  • Clare
  • Limerick
  • Kerry

We don’t want your little ones blowing away.

whatthebuck whatthebuck

UPDATE: Cork and Leitrim have been added to the counties under the Status Red warning.

This means schools are also advised to remain closed in these counties and people are being asked to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to travel.

Well, that’s not ideal:

In fairness to them, the OEP have been tweeting up a storm (sorry) this evening. And of course, you’ve got this handy liveblog to keep you up to date.

Debbie has found the silver lining on the wind clouds:

A lamp post has come down in Waterford:

There are winds of up to 130km per hour so please drive carefully everyone and keep your wits about you. In the nine counties where there is a Status Red wind warning, you’d be better of staying inside to watch the TV or read for the rest of the night.

It’s not just wheelie bins you need to worry about:

Again, this is not a laughing matter, it does actually happen:

tramp Olive Sharp’s trampoline and sandbox lost their fight with the gale force winds in Kerry last year. Olive Sharp Olive Sharp

We’ve checked in with emergency services tonight to get the lay of the land. Though there have been a few reports of trees falling in different places around the country, gardaí said there have been no injuries associated with them.

The Coast Guard told our reporter Aoife Barry that, thankfully, there have been no incidents of note.

However they said “the weather is set to deteriorate as we move into the early hours of the morning, that could change”.

  • Malin Head Coast Guard told us that though winds are getting up to strong gale force at the moment, they haven’t had any incidents reported to them, and “luckily the majority of vessels are in shelter”. But they said that “it’s going to get up to violence storm force” in the area.
  • At Valentia, the Coast Guard said things were quiet, and they’re taking a “wait and see” approach. “Everyone is just inside,” said a spokesperson. “We are just monitoring anything, listening and watching. Whatever develops, develops, and we deal with it.”
  • In Dublin, the Coast Guard acknowledged that the east is definitely not as bad as the rest of the country from a wind point of view. There have been no incidents. But their spokesperson warned that people should be cautious about going to view any high waves or storm weather phenomenon tomorrow. “It might be nice to look but it is very dangerous,” they said of viewing waves during periods of bad weather.

When we last checked at 10.30pm, almost 4,000 people around the country were without power:

PowerCheck PowerCheck

The largest faults are in Wexford, where 1,619 people are affected.

The electricity provider has warned everyone to charge up their electronics, presumably so no one has to actually talk to their families when the power goes out:

And the wind is just getting started in Salthill, it seems:

A flood alert has been issued in Letterkenny. Donegal Weather Channel says “several estates” are flooded, with residents having to use sandbags at their front doors.

Flooding has also been reported in Tralee and Killarney:

And in Mayo:


So called ‘Storm Rachel’ has started ripping the slates off people’s roofs now:

ESB Networks have said they will not be able to carry out further repairs until tomorrow but will still be working to keep you all safe:

There’s lots of praise for their crews this evening, who have been braving the severe wind and rain in order to get the light back on:

Don’t forget to email us your photos and updates from where you are throughout the night.

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