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Dublin: 19 °C Monday 25 May, 2020
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Snow, hail and high winds: Weather warnings remain in place as Storm Ciara hits Ireland

An estimated 3,000 homes and businesses were without power last night.

Diving tower in Salthill, Galway is battered by waves.
Diving tower in Salthill, Galway is battered by waves.
Image: PA

Updated Feb 10th 2020, 5:09 PM

A STATUS ORANGE wind warning is in place this morning for seven counties with the country preparing for a cold snap as Storm Ciara passes over Ireland. 

Met Éireann issued the warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry. It came into effect at 6am and will remain in place until 8pm this evening. 

Met Éireann said a combination of spring tides and high seas would create “a significant risk of coastal flooding”.

A Status Yellow wind warning for the rest of the country, meanwhile, is in place until 8pm. A status yellow snow/ice warning kicked in at midnight last night and will remain in place for 48 hours.

“Widespread wintry showers on Monday and Tuesday with some snowfall accumulations, especially in the west and north. Some disruption to travel is possible, particularly over higher routes,” Met Éireann said. 

The Road Safety Authority is advising road users to exercise extreme caution during the cold snap. 

An estimated 3,000 homes and businesses were without power last night as the ESB works to restore power this morning. 

Storm Ciara is forecast to bring westerly winds to coastal areas today with average speeds of 65km/h to 80km/h expected as well as gusts of up to 130km/h.

The National Parks & Wildlife Service has said the following locations are closed today due to the Status Orange wind warning:

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

A combination of spring high tides, high seas and stormy conditions lead to coastal flooding yesterday, particularly along western and north-western coasts.

In Co Clare, flooding was reported in Inagh, Kilrush and Kilnamona while the flooding in Ennistimon is understood to be severe. 

In Limerick, there was flooding on the N69 between Robertstown and Foynes northbound and on the N22 at Clonkeen in Co Kerry. 

The cold weather nationwide also resulted in snowfall in pockets of the country. 

In Leinster, there was heavy flooding on the Nangor Road in Clondalkin Co Dublin and the AA reported excess surface water on the M9 northbound between J3 Athy and J4 Castledermot.

Meanwhile, charity for the elderly, Alone, urged older people to take extra care following the status orange weather warning issued by Met Éireann for parts of the west and north as Storm Ciara continues.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of Alone, said: “Following a status orange weather warning for the west and north of the country, we are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible.”

He continued, “With some snow forecast, it is important that older people prioritise spending on heating and stay warm in the coming days.” 

Parts of the UK, meanwhile, are braced for blizzards and up to 20cm of snow in the wake of Storm Ciara, with travel disruption set to continue.

Some areas saw a month and a half’s rainfall in just 24 hours and gusts of more than 90 miles per hour swept across the country yesterday, bringing widespread flooding.

Thousands of people were left without power, some homes were evacuated, buildings were damaged and sporting occasions postponed.

Flights, ferries and trains all saw cancellations and delays, while drivers faced treacherous conditions with floodwater, fallen trees and other debris closing roads.

Storm Ciara also hit France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland. 

The storm was so violent that German rail operator Deutsche Bahn was forced to cancel many of its long-distance train services. 

Several airports in Germany had to cancel flights as the storm swept in from the north. 

About 240 flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol, the third-busiest airport in Europe, were also cancelled, largely affecting KLM, British Airways, easyJet and Lufthansa services.

With reporting by Garreth MacNamee

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