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Storm Ellen: Status Red in Cork as motorists nationwide told to exercise caution

The “disruptive and potentially damaging winds” from Storm Ellen will bring heavy rain and a risk of flooding.

A satellite image showing the position of the storm.
A satellite image showing the position of the storm.
Image: Met Éireann

Updated Aug 19th 2020, 8:59 PM

A STATUS RED wind warning is in effect in Cork until midnight due to potentially destructive winds caused by Storm Ellen. 

A Status Orange wind warning is in place for Munster, Galway and Mayo until 6am tomorrow with a Status Yellow wind warning in place in the rest of the country.

Met Éireann is forecasting the storm is likely to produce “a core of very severe and destructive winds” with heavy rain also likely in southwestern and southern counties. 

Cork County Council has warned people camping or staying in caravans to seek alternative accommodation indoors tonight. 

County councils and the Road Safety Authority are urging motorists across the country to minimise their journeys and be aware of the potential for flooding and debris on the road. 

Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack earlier warned the public to stay away from coastal areas and high ground from this afternoon as the storm approaches. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sarah McInerney, Cusack said that “all areas” of Ireland are at risk tonight from what is expected to be a “high-impact storm”.

The storm, which is caused by a “very deep depression” in the atmosphere, will first hit Kerry and Cork before it moves across the country tonight.

Cusack said that coastal and river flooding is possible in addition to heavy rain and falling trees.

Cork, Kerry and Clare are at particular risk of coastal flooding.

“Nobody should be out hillwalking or going near the coast from this afternoon onwards,” she said.

“We’re particularly concerned for hundreds or thousands of tourists camping out enjoying the beautiful scenery in the south and the west.”

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Last night, a Status Orange wind warning was issued for seven counties in the south and west of the country but Cusack said that “Orange level impacts may potentially occur over any part of the island”.

According to the Met Éireann warning system, Status Orange signifies infrequent and dangerous weather conditions which may pose a threat to life and property. 

Due to the combination of storm surge, spring tides and onshore winds there is a risk of some coastal flooding overnight into Thursday. Inland and river flooding is also possible with some potentially heavy, thundery downpours.

- With reporting by Lauren Boland, Orla Dwyer and Rónán Duffy

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Sean Murray

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