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PEOPLE ARE BEING warned that Storm Barra still poses a threat, as the slow-moving storm tracks across Ireland. 

Status Red, Orange and Yellow warnings are in place across the country as the storm continues to travel across the island, leaving a trail of flooding, power cuts and transport disruption in its wake.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the situation:

  • A status Red warning is in place in for Co Clare.
  • A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Dublin It is active between 1am and 8am tomorrow morning. It is currently unclear if schools in Dublin will open tomorrow. 
  • Schools will be closed again tomorrow in 11 counties.
  • An Orange wind warning will be in place for Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Wexford, Sligo and Leitrim until 6am tomorrow.
  • Flooding has occurred in coastal areas, including Bantry, Co Cork, where over 20 premises have been affected.
  • An Orange wind warning will kick in for Donegal early tomorrow morning.
  • A Status Yellow wind and rain warning is in place for other counties until tomorrow evening. 
  • Some 38,000 people remain without power. Check the ESB’s Powercheck site for live local updates on power outages and estimated reconnection times. The company has said those impacted by outages should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow. 

That’s it for the liveblog coverage today. The slow-moving storm continues to move east across Ireland leaving a trail of property damage, power outages and flooding.

The red alert in Cork and Kerry will be downgraded to orange at 9pm this evening. The status red warning in Clare will remain in place until 1pm, after that the county will be status orange.

The orange alert for Sligo and Leitrim is now in place and Donegal will be status orange at 2am.

Stay with The Journal for all the important updates this evening and tomorrow.

Reports of fallen trees continue to come in from various counties. People in counties with red or orange alerts are being urged not to travel unless necessary.

Taking a wee break from the updates, comedian Peter McGann has a quick bit of advice for people thinking of ordering food for delivery tonight. 

Flooding has hit over 20 premises in Bantry in Co Cork, as well as properties in Cork city and Galway city.

Emergency financial supports are to be put in place for businesses damaged by Storm Barra, which will not be impacted by the supports in place for those hit by Covid-19 restrictions.

winter-weather-dec-7th-2021 Source: PA

An Post says regular letter and parcel services, collections and deliveries, will resume tomorrow.

“All Mail Delivery Offices will operate as normal although there may still be some localised disruption, particularly in coastal areas,” it said.

The postal service noted that the impact of the severe weather conditions may take some days to clear given the cancellation of ferry traffic and road freight disruptions.

Post Offices in the areas under status red warnings will reopen tomorrow.

The ESB says that power is still cut off for 38,000 customers and some will remain without supply overnight.

The damage is mainly caused by fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds.

“We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow, with some customers potentially without power beyond that,” the ESB said.

“It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary.”

Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) has thanked the public after recording a threefold increase in notifications about people sleeping rough.

Dublin Simon Outreach had a number of positive outcomes today with people who are long term rough sleeping, complex and are reluctant to come into Emergency Accommodation.

DRHE said Simon Outreach staff worked very closely with its placement staff from early this morning to support these people in suitable placements.

People can make notifications here if they are concerned about a person sleeping rough tonight.

Following the announcement regarding schools, higher and further education minister Simon Harris has said that colleges, universities, further education and training centres that are currently in or forecast to be in a red or orange alert area should remain closed tomorrow. 

This includes counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Wexford.

Ahead of the announcement that schools will be closed in 11 counties again tomorrow, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien defended the Government’s decision to close schools today.

“I would say that we followed the advice and I think rightly so, and we erred on the side of caution,” he told RTÉ radio.

“I am certain we were right to do that. All parts of the country experienced this storm to different levels, but we followed the best of advice.

“I firmly believe government made the correct decision, that may have led to some disruption with some people, and obviously that’s not something that we want to do.

“But first and foremost, children’s safety and students’ safety, and that indeed of our educators, is absolutely paramount.”

Schools closed again tomorrow in 11 counties

Schools will be closed again tomorrow in counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Wexford.

“This will allow for assessment of the impact of Storm Barra to take place,” the Department of Education said in a statement.

“Schools who are no longer in a Red or Orange Alert area can reopen provided, if there are concerns, school managers have had an opportunity to check for fallen wires and other serious damage in the vicinity of school buildings. 

“If an individual school (in a yellow area) is still experiencing a particular local issue relating to the storm the Board of Management can make a decision to remain closed for tomorrow.

“All schools should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area,” the department concluded.

Handing the reins back over to Céimin now, he’ll keep you up to date with all the latest throughout the evening. 

Stay safe, everyone. 

Irish Rail is warning commuters that there is now delays of around 30 minutes to northbound and southbound services through Connolly. 

Irish Water has issued two Boil Water Notices as the water supplies of 38,000 people are currently at risk due to the ongoing impact of Storm Barra. 

A total of 25 water supplies are being impacted in the South West, particularly in Cork and Kerry, due to the heavy rainfall and high winds, which is causing flooding and power outages at water plants.

Some rogue trampolines are continuing to make their presence felt around the country. Are there any loose ones near you?

Send weather photos to pictures@thejournal.ie

an-overturned-trampoline-at-a-house-in-clon-elagh-derry-as-storm-barra-hits-the-uk-and-ireland-with-disruptive-winds-heavy-rain-and-snow-picture-date-tuesday-december-7-2021 An overturned trampoline at a house in Clon Elagh, Derry Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Here’s the latest update from Cork County Council:

Cork County Council’s Crisis Management Team convened again this afternoon and continues to ask members of the public to not become complacent, to stay at home and to avoid any unnecessary activity during this Red warning phase which, upon expiration, will be followed by prolonged strong winds and rain.

The Council is aware of a significant number of locations with fallen trees and debris together with localised spot flooding across Cork County. Members of the public are again requested to avoid any unnecessary activity and travel. The public are advised to stay wherever they are indoors until the red warning has passed and to check for updates from Met Éireann on their website www.met.ie and via social media.

Council crews are currently on standby with services curtailed to critical and life and health-threatening incidents to ensure the safety of staff and members of the public during a Red weather warning event. Clean up operational arrangements will begin as soon as it is safe to do so from tomorrow morning at first light.

Cork County Council wishes to advise road users to be aware of the danger posed by high winds. Driving conditions may be hazardous with surface flooding and debris possible. Motorists are advised to drive with caution during heavy rain, not to drive through flood waters and be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians.

With strong gusts and high waves predicted tomorrow people are urged to refrain from visiting coastal areas. Members of the public are advised to stay high, stay dry and stay away from the coast, rivers and lakes.

Issues such as fallen trees, flooding and road damage can be reported by calling 021 4276891 between 9am and 5pm or via the Council’s emergency out of hours number 021 4800048.

In the event of a disruption to power supply, please contact ESB Networks at 1800 372999. Fallen or grounded wires should be avoided and the public are advised to call ESB in assisting with the identification of fallen wires.

In the event of a disruption to water supply, please contact Irish Water at 1800 278278.

In the event of an emergency call 999 or 112 and request the Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Gardaí or Irish Coastguard as appropriate. DO NOT assume others will do this.

Cork County Council will continue to provide updates on www.corkcoco.ie and across the Council’s social media channels @Corkcoco.

On that note, An Garda Síochána are reminding people that all unnecessary travel should be avoided in places where Red and Orange warnings are in place. 

Reports of fallen trees continue around the country. 

If you must go out today, be careful and don’t try to clear up fallen debris until the storm has cleared. 

It’s me, Hayley Halpin, back with you for the next hour while Céimin grabs a break. 

You can contact me on hayley@thejournal.ie. 

Clare red warning

Clare has joined Cork and Kerry in having a Status Red warning in effect. The alert in the Banner county will last until 1am. 

Clare County Council said coastal flooding is expected and urged people to stay away from all coastal areas.

“Keep your mobile phone charged as disruption to power and travel are likely,” the council said in a statement.

“The public are warned electricity wires are always live, never approach. If you see fallen or damaged wires, keep clear and phone ESB Networks immediately on 1800-372999/021-2382410.

“After the Status Red warning tomorrow, Wednesday, 8th December, motorists should be aware that fallen trees, debris and localised flooding can be expected on the roads and should proceed with extreme caution.”

Dún Laoghaire harbour is also getting battered by waves.

The inclement weather has made driving conditions dangerous in parts of the country. 

A truck has overturned on the M8 between junction 13 and junction 15.

People in status red and orange counties are being urged to stay at home unless neccessary.

Incredible footage of the sea rolling towards Fastnet rock has been recorded by lighthouse keeper Ronnie O’Driscoll.

The lighthouse sits in the Atlantic ocean, past the far edge of the island of Ireland. It’s over six kilometres southwest of Cape Clear and 13 kilometres from the mainland.

Met Éireann has shared the latest satellite images as Barra moves east. The forecaster is warning that the storm will continue to bring strong and damaging winds this evening and tonight.

The red alert for county Clare will come into force at 4pm.

Just down the coast from Howth, the sea has breached the wall along the seafront in Clontarf. Sandbags were installed along the road ahead of the storm’s arrival. People are being encouraged to avoid the area.

High tide in Dublin arrived at around 1.20 this afternoon. Photographer Padraig O’Reilly captured footage of waves breaching the wall on Howth’s east pier, powered on by high winds.

That’s all from myself, Hayley, for the time being. 

My colleague Céimin Burke will continue to bring you all the latest weather-related developments for the next few hours. 

There are reports of fallen trees across the country. 

The Health and Safety Authority has warned people not to attempt to clear the debris until the storm has passed and to keep well away from fallen electricity lines. 

Have you ever wondered: How does Met Éireann decide on weather warnings? 

Well, reporter Tadgh McNally has answered that question here

According to Met Éireann, the forecaster will usually refrain from issuing weather warnings more than 60-hours in advance of the weather event occurring.

When it’s within 60 hours, the main set of warnings are issued by the duty forecaster at Met Éireann between 10am and midday. These warnings will then be regularly updated as new information becomes available.

However, the forecaster will issue weather advisories up to a week in advance, which acts as an early warning for people for potential hazardous weather conditions. These advisories are also used when multiple weather conditions are expected to act together to cause a significant hazard.

Storm Barra is also making its way across the UK, with places in Scotland and England experiencing snow, sleet and strong winds. 

sleet-and-snow-fall-in-biggar-town-centre-south-lanarkshire-as-storm-barra-hits-the-uk-and-ireland-with-disruptive-winds-heavy-rain-and-snow-on-tuesday-picture-date-tuesday-december-7-2021 Sleet and snow fall in Biggar town centre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland Source: Alamy Stock Photo

a-snowplough-makes-its-way-through-falling-snow-on-the-a66-between-stainmore-and-bowes-as-storm-barra-hit-the-uk-and-ireland-with-disruptive-winds-heavy-rain-and-snow-on-tuesday-picture-date-tuesda A snowplough makes its way through falling snow on the A66 between Stainmore and Bowes, England Source: Alamy Stock Photo

people-brave-the-weather-as-they-make-their-way-along-the-sea-front-in-southsea-as-storm-barra-hit-the-uk-and-ireland-with-disruptive-winds-heavy-rain-and-snow-on-tuesday-picture-date-tuesday-decem People brave the weather as they make their way along the sea front in Southsea, England Source: Alamy Stock Photo

snow-falls-near-a-farm-building-on-the-a66-between-stainmore-and-bowes-as-storm-barra-hit-the-uk-and-ireland-with-disruptive-winds-heavy-rain-and-snow-on-tuesday-picture-date-tuesday-december-7-20 Snow falls near a farm building on the A66 between Stainmore and Bowes, England Source: Alamy Stock Photo

All NCT, VRT and SPSV appointments have been cancelled in Co Cork and Co Kerry today. 

All appointments in the Ennis test centre after 3pm have also now been cancelled. 

Latest wind observations from Met Éireann show that Sherkin Island has recorded a sustained 10-minute mean wind speed of 111km/h and a gust of 135km/h. 

To put that into context, the top mean speed for Storm Ophelia in 2017 was 115km/h at Roches Point and the top gust was 156km/h. 

ESB Network has just issued an update on the situation nationwide, confirming that as of 12.55pm, approximately 49,000 homes and businesses are without power. 

Cork is getting a particularly bad beating from Storm Barra today. 

Check out this footage from inside Fastnet Lighthouse, at the most southerly point of Ireland, where gusts of 161km/h have been recorded. 

Here’s an update from Cork County Council:

Cork County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team and Crisis Management Team convened this morning as updates are received in relation to any incidents across the county. The Council continues to ask members of the public to please stay at home and avoid any unnecessary activity during this Red Warning event.

At this time the worst affected area in Cork County is Bantry, with 28 primarily commercial premises affected this morning by High Tide from 5.30am onwards. The tide was extremely high due to High Astronomical Tide, storm surcharging and wave action. This combined to overtop the temporary defences and surcharged the storm system within the town. While high tide in Bantry was at 6.39am the tide remained high for a number of hours due to the storm and wave action. The tide has now receded with the next high tide not expected to have a similar update as it is not a High Astronomical Tide.

Flooding also occurred on the Back Street in Youghal which has receded.

Cork County Council is aware of instances of fallen cables, trees and debris together with roads flooded across the county. The R571 between Castletownbere and Eyeries is impassable and has been closed. Members of the public are being asked to avoid unnecessary travel and remain indoors.

Council crews remain on standby with services curtailed to respond to any life-threatening or critical incidents that might arise. Online services continue to be delivered with staff operating remotely.

Longfields Bridge and Killavullen Bridge are currently closed. The Dursey Cable Car remains closed and will reopen following inspection.

Issues such as fallen trees, flooding and road damage should be reported by calling 021 4276891 between 9am and 5pm or via the Council’s Emergency Out of Hours number 021 4800048.

Weather updates and forecasts from Met Eireann www.met.ie indicate that this storm will remain violent for the remainder of the day in Cork County with the red warning level remaining in place up to 9pm this evening. The public are advised to stay wherever they are indoors until that time has passed and to check for updates from Met Eireann on their website and via social media.

The strong winds may give rise to localised power outages. In the event of a disruption to power supply, please contact ESB Networks at 1800 372999. Fallen or grounded wires should be avoided and the public are advised to call ESB in assisting with the identification of fallen wires.

In the event of a disruption to water supply, please contact Irish Water at 1800 278278.

In the event of an emergency call 999 or 112 and request the Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Gardaí or Irish Coastguard as appropriate. DO NOT assume others will do this.

Cork County Council will continue to provide updates on www.corkcoco.ie and across the Council’s social media channels @Corkcoco.

Power outages

There are currently around 59,000 homes and businesses without power around the country. 

ESB Networks has said its teams are “restoring supply remotely and working on site when safe to do so”. 

Screenshot 2021-12-07 125202 Source: ESB

People have been asked to check estimated restoration times or report an outage on Powercheck.ie

 You can log a fault online or by calling 1800 372 999.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has this afternoon said Storm Barra is a “very severe weather event”. 

He said the storm has caused “minimal damage so far”, but added it “is not over yet”. 

Screenshot 2021-12-07 124251 Source: Met.ie

Here’s a quick recap of the current Met Éireann weather warnings:

Status Red – Wind warning for Cork, Kerry

Southwesterly winds later veering northwesterly will reach mean speeds in excess of 80 km/h with severe or damaging gusts in excess of 130km/h. Due to a combination of high waves, storm surge and high tide, coastal flooding is expected. Disruption to power and travel are likely.

Valid from 9.34am to 9pm today 

Status Red – Wind warning for Clare

Valid from 4pm today until 1am tomorrow 

Status Orange – Wind warning for Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Wexford

Southeasterly winds, later veering northwesterly will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80 km/h with severe or damaging gusts of 100 to 130 km/h, with localised stronger winds likely, with severe gusts on coasts. Due to a combination of high waves, storm surge and high tide, coastal flooding is expected. Disruption to power and travel are likely.

Valid from 9.34am today until 6am tomorrow

Status Orange – Wind warning for Dublin, Louth, Wicklow, East Meath

Valid from 9.34am until 1pm today  

Status Orange – Wind warning for Leitrim, Sligo

Valid from 8pm today until 8am tomorrow 

Status Orange – Wind warning for Donegal

Valid from 2am until 2pm tomorrow 

Status Yellow – Wind and rain warning for Ireland

Storm Barra will bring widespread mean speeds of 50 to 65 km/h and gusts of 90 to 110 km/h with localised stronger winds likely. Heavy rain will also bring risks of surface flooding and, due to a combination of high waves, storm surge and high tide, coastal flooding is expected. Disruption to power and travel are likely.

Valid from 9.34am until 6pm today 

Northern Ireland Warnings

Yellow – Wind and Rain Warning for Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry

Strong winds and heavy rain bring a risk of some travel disruption and flooding

Valid from 6am today until 9am tomorrow 

Good afternoon, Hayley Halpin here. 

Welcome to The Journal’s rolling afternoon and evening coverage of Storm Barra. 

We’ll have all the latest travel and transport news, along with all other storm-related developments as they happen. 

You can catch up on all of this morning’s storm news as it happened here

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