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Parks and nature reserves closed as Storm Atiyah edges closer to Irish coast

A Status Orange wind warning is in place for a number of counties on the west coast.

Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

Updated Dec 7th 2019, 3:54 PM

THE GOVERNMENT HAS today urged the public to avoid visiting a number of national parks and nature reserves ahead of the arrival of Storm Atiyah.

A Status Orange wind warning is currently in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick with Status Yellow wind and rain warning is in place for the remainder of the counties.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said it is advising the public not to visit any national parks, national monuments or nature reserves whilst the Status Orange is in place.

The following parks and nature reserves will be closed tomorrow:

  • Connemara National Park
  • Knockma Wood, near Tuam, Co. Galway
  • Derryclare Nature Reserve, Co. Galway
  • Wild Nephin, Ballycroy National Park, Co. Mayo
  • Old Head Nature Reserve, Co. Mayo
  • Laughil Wood, near Pontoon, Co. Mayo
  • Dromore Woods Nature Reserve, Co. Clare
  • Killarney House and Gardens, Co. Kerry

A spokesperson said: “The NPWS would ask the public for their ongoing cooperation on this matter by not entering these sites for the duration of these weather warnings. Further updates will be provided as the weather forecast becomes clearer and/or as Met Éireann weather advisory notices are updated – see www.meteireann.ie for weather warning and updates.”

The storm is expected to generate very strong winds across the country with southwesterly winds reaching speeds of 65 to 80km/h with gusts from 110 to 130km/h. 

High seas of between 10 and 12 metres are expected along western coasts between Mizen Head and Erris Head, with the possibility of coastal flooding.

Cork County Council has put response crews on standby with “the main impact of Storm Atiyah to include fallen trees and possibly structural damage from high winds, and coastal flooding caused by the storm surge”. 

“Driving conditions may be hazardous with surface flooding possible. Motorists are reminded to take additional care and be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians.”

Temperatures in the afternoon will be 6 or 7 degrees (higher at coasts) with little change in temperature overnight on Sunday.

The Road Safety Authority is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads during the stormy period. They ask motorists to beware of objects blowing onto the road and to reduce speed.

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