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Status Red weather warning issued for 14 counties as Storm Debi set to hit overnight

Met Éireann has warned of a “potential danger to life” due to the conditions.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 12th 2023, 9:49 PM

MET ÉIREANN HAS issued status red weather warnings for 14 counties, including Dublin, as Storm Debi is set to hit the country overnight. 

IMG_3628 The weather warnings for Monday Met Éireann Met Éireann

Severe and damaging winds are expected to hit from 1am, and Met Éireann has warned of a “potential danger to life” due to the conditions. 

The national forecaster has said that counties impacted by the weather warnings could see widespread power outages, dangerous travelling conditions, fallen trees, and damage to vulnerable structures. 

The red wind warning is in place from 2am until 5am on Monday for Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, east Galway and south Roscommon. 

As the storm moves across the country, the status red warning is in place from 5am until 8am for Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Offaly and Westmeath

An orange wind warning is in place for Cork from 1am until 4am. 

An orange wind warning will also apply from 2am until 10am in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary, Westmeath and Wicklow. 

The impact across the country on Monday morning will be significant. Schools, pre-schools and creches in counties with orange and red weather warnings will stay closed until 10am, while Bus Éireann has said the storm is likely to have a “significant impact” on services on Monday morning.  

Irish Rail has said a speed restriction of 80 km/h will be in place across the entire rail network as a safety precaution, and delays to services on all routes are expected. 

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extreme care over the next 24 hours and urged people not to make unnecessary journeys. 

Met Éireann forecaster Liz Walsh urged people to take care on Monday morning. “If you can work from home in the morning, then do,” she told The Journal. 

Met Éireann updated its advice throughout Sunday, increasing the number of counties impacted by both the orange and red warnings. 

Other key points: 

  • SCHOOLS: The Department of Education says that schools in orange or red areas will remain closed until 10am at the earliest on Monday. 
  • PRE-SCHOOLS AND CRECHES: The Department of Children has asked all early learning and care and school age childcare settings to open at 10am to ensure public safety 
  • TRANSPORT: Bus Éireann will not be operating school transport on Monday morning in counties affected by red and orange weather warnings. 
  • FARMERS: The Department of Agriculture has advised farmers to take time to ensure their farms are secure
  • ELECTRICITY: ESB Networks have given advice for how to prepare for potential power cuts, including having a torch and batteries ready. 
  • PREPARATION: Dublin Fire Brigade has urged people to be aware of road conditions, spot flooding, and fallen trees and cable. 

DCU and TUD have said they will operate their campuses as normal, with DCU campuses set to open at 8am when the red warning for Dublin expires. Trinity College Dublin has said it will be closed until 8am. 

UL Hospitals Group says services will continue across all sites as normal tomorrow. 

A number of businesses, including Eason and Lidl, have said store opening times will be later than normal on Monday morning. Eason stores will not open until 10am, while Lidl stores will open when it is safe for teams to travel to open them up.

 The decisions  

Ireland’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) made the decision to advise schools and pre-schools in affected counties to remain closed until 10am.  Speaking after a meeting of the NECG on Sunday afternoon, the group chair Keith Leonard said local authorities and response agencies have been preparing for the storm over the weekend.

Leonard advised people to stay away from coastal areas as conditions will be “extremely hazardous”.

“On the balance of risk and to ensure public safety, all schools and pre-schools are asked to remain closed until 10 o’clock tomorrow morning in the orange and the red areas.”

Leonard warned: “People are advised to keep track of the Met Eireann weather forecast because those counties in red and orange [areas] could change at short notice.”

Met Éireann describes red warnings as “rare, extremely dangerous/destructive”. 

Status Yellow wind and rain warnings will also be in place for the entire country, with the national forecaster warning of very windy or stormy conditions on Sunday night, accompanied by heavy rain with a chance of thunderstorms and hail.

This will remain in place from midnight until 3pm tomorrow.

Heavy rain and strong winds due to Storm Debi is also expected in Northern Ireland, with possible disruption and flooding to parts of the North.

The UK Met Office said yellow wind and rain warnings for Northern Ireland will be in place from 3am until 2pm tomorrow. 

Working from home

Speaking to The Journal, Met Éireann forecaster Liz Walsh said the storm will come across Ireland in the Kerry-Clare area and will track north-eastwards over the country, bringing some very strong winds for a time overnight and early tomorrow morning.

She said the most severe winds are expected to be between 3am and 8am.

“The thing about this system is that it’s going to be over and done with by 9am-10am. It’s really just affecting that early Monday morning commuting time,” she said.

“Our major concern is that it would impact people getting up early to go to work and there could be some very strong winds that could cause trees down, power outages and difficult travelling conditions.

“Any of those counties on the southern side of that low pressure system will see the most severe winds. There’s a small, strong core of winds that could cause grave damage. Often, places in the Midlands are really not used to that level of wind and this is a strong event.”

She said people should check Met Éireann’s website tomorrow for updates and encouraged people to check their activity and delay and cancel as appropriate.

“With the Yellow level, it’s less of a problem, but certainly if you’re in an Orange [or Red] level area, then do take note and be aware that there could be some very strong damaging gusts for a time early tomorrow morning.”

Meanwhile, a Status Red marine storm warning from Valentia to Loop Head to Slyne Head will be in place from 2am to 5am tomorrow morning. Met Éireann said westerly winds will reach violent storm force 11 for a time. 

USEFUL RESOURCES: 

With reporting from David McRedmond, Christine Bohan and Press Association. 

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