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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Storm Lorenzo could cause 'ferocious' and 'very dangerous' storm surges in coastal areas

The storm is due to track close to or over Ireland on Thursday evening and early Friday.

Updated Oct 1st 2019, 7:32 PM

STORM LORENZO COULD cause “ferocious” and “very dangerous” storm surges around coastal areas when it reaches Ireland later this week, Minister Eoghan Murphy has warned. 

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government was speaking following a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group today.  

Met Éireann has said that Lorenzo is “a large and powerful hurricane” but that it should weaken as it passes the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. It is expected to transition into an extra tropical storm before it reaches Ireland.

Current forecasts indicate that Storm Lorenzo will move across the country during Thursday night into Friday morning, moving west to east across the country, potentially bringing strong winds, rain and the threat of coastal flooding. 

The severity of the storm once it hits Ireland is “still to be determined”, Murphy said. 

“There are still some because this is an unprecedented hurricane that we see now coming towards Ireland. It will de-intensify, if you like, as it reaches as a storm,” he said. 

Tweet by @Met Éireann Source: Met Éireann/Twitter

Met Éireann is to issue more detailed warnings tomorrow for Thursday and Friday. 

Murphy said primary concerns at the moment are of coastal areas. 

He said “very significant storm wave surges” are expected around coastal areas which could be “quite ferocious” and “very dangerous”. 

There are also concerns surrounding “very strong winds” during the storm.

“People will recall we’ve had strong wind events before, Storm Ally, Storm Ophelia, how dangerous it was in terms of trees, heavy with leaves, falling, bringing down power lines, causing flooding in certain areas as well,” Murphy said.

Preparations

The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) Crisis Management Team has been meeting daily and working with Met Éireann, local authorities and other government departments and agencies since Friday to review the storm and its predicted trajectory and intensity.

The NDFEM contacted all local authorities yesterday advising them to activate their severe weather assessment teams and local coordination arrangements.

Local authorities have activated their crisis management teams and the Department of Transport has activated its crisis weather plans, with crews ready and on standby to deal with any potential difficulties posed by the storm. 

The ESB has taken action and is ready to mobilise responses to restore power once the impact of the storm is known. 

The HSE has also activated its crisis management teams and has issued messages to service users and staff to minimise any potential impact on services.

The Department of Social Protection is on standby with its community welfare officers ready to assist with damage and recovery due to the impacts of the storm.

Defence Forces troops are also on standby to provide assistance if and when required.

Rough sleepers

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has said it is ready to respond to ensure homeless people at risk are sheltered for the duration of any extreme weather event. 

In the event of extreme weather in the coming days, the DRHE said arrangements are in place with service providers to put additional temporary accommodation in place across a range of existing services. 

In addition, the Dublin street outreach service, operated by Dublin Simon, is out engaging with those at risk of rough sleeping in order to provide shelter for anyone who needs it.

“We are confident that there will be sufficient additional emergency spaces to cater for those that require it and we are extremely grateful for the cooperation and assistance from our partner agencies in the charity sector,” the DRHE said. 

The Dublin Street Outreach Service can be contact from 7am to 1am on 01 872 0185.

Members of the public who come across a person at risk of rough sleeping is asked to notify the relevant service via this online form

 

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