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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 30 May, 2020
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Storm Brendan: 32,000 still without power as Status Orange warning remains for five counties until midnight

A number of flights to and from Shannon Airport have been cancelled.

Updated Jan 13th 2020, 6:10 PM

GALE FORCE WINDS, with gusts of over 130km/h, have left 32,000 homes, farms and businesses without power as Storm Brendan moves across Ireland.

The counties most impacted include Galway, Limerick, Kerry, Cork and Donegal. ESB Networks crews have been dispatched to these areas to assess the damage and are working to restore power.

ESB said this evening that power had been restored to over 100,000 homes, farms and businesses over the course of today, but 32,000 were still without power.

Wexford, Waterford and Kerry are now the worst impacted areas. 

The Status Orange wind warning due to remain in place until 9pm has been extended to midnight for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.

The wind warning for the rest of the country at 8am and remained in place until 3pm. From 3pm until 8pm this evening, a Status Yellow wind warning is in place for Wexford, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford. 

A Status Red marine warning was also in place in all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish sea, with violent storm force winds expected.

outages Source: ESB

Met Éireann said that, as of 3pm, the strongest winds were recorded in Belmullet in Co Mayo with gusts of 122km/h. Earlier, gusts of of 119 km/h were recorded on Sherkin Island in Co Cork and in Mace Head in Co Galway, gusts of 11km/h were recorded in Roche’s Point in Co Cork and gusts of 100m/h were recorded Shannon in Co Clare and Newport in Co Mayo.

Dangerous conditions

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has asked road users to exercise caution while using the roads today, noting that some closures are in place, and to be aware of fallen debris.

Motorists are also being advised that vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists, may be blown off course by strong winds.

They should also be aware of strong cross winds that could affect the control of their vehicle if they slow down, and they should only drive through standing water if sure it’s not too deep for the car.

The storm is causing havoc on the roads. AA Roadwatch has advised of fallen trees causing a number of blockages on routes across the country.

It includes the N30 closed in both directions in Wexford about 3km outside of Enniscorthy. That road is not expected to open for a number of hours.

Fallen trees are also affecting the N80 between Carlow Town and Bunclody, the N81 between Poulaphouca and Blessington in Wicklow and the N74 between Golden and Cashel in Tipperary.

A trampoline was also spotted on the M7 in Limerick, which was later safely removed.

‘A very powerful storm’

A number of Aer Lingus flights to and from Shannon Airport have been cancelled, including flight EI3630 to Birmingham (10.50am), flight EI3672 to Edinburgh (10.55am) & EI384 to London Heathrow (12.55pm).

Aer Lingus’ flights from these airports to Shannon Airport have also been cancelled. A spokesperson for Shannon Airport has advised people to check directly with their airlines for the latest updates.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus has apologised for the inconvenience and said customers impacted by cancelled flights can rebook their flights free of charge or apply for a refund. 

Some flight delays are also expected as a result of the storm. A spokesperson for Dublin Airport said no flights have been cancelled as of yet and there is a normal schedule currently in operation.

Met Éireann has predicted that Storm Brendan could bring gusts of to 130 km/h or higher in exposed areas.

“This is a very powerful storm,” Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

It has originated near Canada and as it rapidly moved across the Atlantic, engaging in the very strong jet stream, and it has undergone what we call rapid cyclogenesis. So it’s a very powerful storm. 

“Thankfully the storm centre is keeping out the northwest of Ireland but we are going to get several hours of very dangerous weather as the storm transfers across the country.

It’ll be worse along the west from Kerry up to Donegal, maybe around 10/11am. And then it’ll continue to be eastwards across the country peaking on the east coast around lunchtime, perhaps first 1pm, which is a dangerous time for the little ones coming out from school. So that’s kind of the peak on the east coast. 

The forecaster also warned people that Status Orange conditions mean that the weather may pose a threat to life and property. 

“Gale force southerly winds will extend countrywide during the morning, with severe and damaging gusts. Heavy rain will extend from the Atlantic, thundery at times. There will be coastal flooding due to a combination of onshore winds, spring tides and storm surge,” Met Éireann said in an update this morning. 

Several local councils have begun reinforcing flood defences in advance of the storm with a significant risk of coastal flooding due to the combination of high spring tides and storm surge.

Dublin City Council said car parks were closed and flood defences erected at Clontarf, Sandymount and along the tidal reaches of the River Dodder. There are further high tides predicted, with the highest one expected at around 2pm tomorrow. The flood defences will remain in place until Wednesday morning.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has advised members of the public to refrain from visiting Killarney National Park while the wind warnings are in place.

The following locations are closed:

  • Killarney House and Gardens, Co Kerry
  • Muckross House and Gardens, Co Kerry
  • Dromore Woods Nature Reserve, Co Clare
  • Coole Park & Gardens Nature Reserve, Gort, Co Galway
  • Connemara National Park, Co Galway
  • Knockma Woods Reserve, Tuam, Co Galway
  • Wild Nephin/Ballycroy National Park (closed since October and will remain so until late March)

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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Rónán Duffy

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