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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 22 June 2021
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5,000 homes without power as Ireland gears up for a night of Storm Frank ferocity

Four separate weather warnings are in place as heavy rainfall is expected across the country tonight.

frank3 A car ploughs through a flood in Passage West, Co Cork, this evening Source: RSA/Twitter

Updated 22.20

5,000 HOMES ARE currently without power as Storm Frank settles in for a blustery, rainy night across the country.

ESB Networks crews are currently working to restore power in extremely difficult conditions.

The areas currently without power are in Donegal, Mayo, Kerry, Cork, and across the southeast.

Meanwhile, flooding and storm damage has closed roads in many parts of the country. Affected counties include Sligo, Cork, Tipperary, Wicklow, Waterford, Cavan and Longford.

In Cork, the river Lee is expected to burst its banks before dawn.

Extensive flooding is being seen on the Shannon at Athlone. The midlands town has suffered a month of carnage at the hands of the river as seemingly-incessant rain sees waters rising to close-to-record levels in the Shannon catchment area.

OPW minister Simon Harris and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly are due to visit the beleaguered town tomorrow.

Meanwhile, both Dublin Fire Brigade and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have urged drivers to err on the side of caution and avoid driving through floods.

Earlier

Storm Frank settled on the west coast of the country from early evening with vicious winds battering the west coast.

In Galway, roads were closed around the Salthill promenade in anticipation of possible flooding.

Meanwhile, the highest wind speed so far recorded in the storm at Valentia, Co Kerry stands at 110 kilometres per hour (km/h). Gusts of 120 km/h are expected as Frank makes his way across the country.

On the Macgillycuddy Reeks the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team earlier were tasked with rescuing a climber who had broken his ankle in a fall from Carrauntoohill earlier this afternoon.

At Lough Ree in Co Roscommon a car was blown into the River Shannon and could be seen in the centre of the river for a half an hour before it submerged according to RTE reports.

With high tide not expected in the west until 8pm this evening, the risk of potential flooding remains exceptionally high.

Weather warnings

Four weather warnings have been issued as Storm Frank is due to hit Ireland early this afternoon.

Local authorities are warning that anywhere that can flood, will flood. Conditions are being described as ‘like a bowl of water that is already full and anything extra will make it spill over’.

The National Coordination Group says local authorities remain on standby and continue to monitor the situation in the areas where further flooding may occur.

Two of the warnings are status orange and two are status yellow. Met Éireann says an orange weather alert is issued when conditions have the capacity to impact significantly on people.

weather gif Source: http://earth.nullschool.net/

A status orange wind warning is in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry. Gusts of wind could reach up to 120 kilometres per hour. The alert comes into effect at midday until midnight.

A status orange rainfall warning is also in place for Wicklow, Galway, Cork, Kerry and Waterford. The warning will be in place for 24 hours, starting from midday today. Up to 70 millimetres of rain is expected to fall in that time.

Meanwhile, a status yellow wind warning has been issued for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.

Wind speeds will reach up to 65 kilometres per hour while gusts will hit 109 kilometres per hour. It will be in place from midday until 6am tomorrow morning.

A status yellow rainfall warning is also in place for Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Leitrim, Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and all of Leinster except Wicklow.

Forty millimetres of rain is expected to fall over 24 hours from this afternoon.

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Flooding

Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann Gerald Fleming told Morning Ireland that the storm would be at it’s most severe late this afternoon and this evening, while the heaviest rainfall will come a little later on tonight.

He added that even though the winds may die out tonight, high waves will still be possible in the morning.

This echoes the warnings from the Irish Coast Guard, which has advised people to stay away from coastal areas. It’s general safety message is Stay Back, Stay High & Stay Dry.

Clare County Council is being assisted by the Defence Forces in its ongoing pumping operations at Castleconnell and Montpelier and in the transportation of residents to and from homes isolated by floodwaters.

An out-of-hours emergency number (087-4169496) is in operation to deal with requests for assistance from the public in relation to incidences of flooding and a dedicated Emergency Helpline will be established should there be an escalation in the number of calls received.

ESB announced that it will increase the flow of water through Parteen Weir to 440 cubic metres per second today, up from 405 cubic metres per second.

The flow of water being released from the Parteen Weir reached a peak of 500 cubic metres per second in 2009 and ESB Networks says levels in Lough Derg could reach those levels in the coming days.

It says it is continuing to monitor the situation and is liaising with the relevant county councils.

Travel

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to exercise caution if  using coastal roads as a combination of high tides, high winds and heavy rain are expected and will result in flooding.

Road users are also advised to stay vigilant as there may be flooding on roads that were not previously flooded

There are fears that Storm Frank could lead to the closure of major routes in parts of Galway today.

In the coming days high winds may also bring down trees so travelling at reduced speeds in the affected areas is also advised.

Kerry Airport has also cancelled flights from Dublin because of the storm.

A number of ferry services have also been cancelled.

Flooding advice is available on Flooding.ie. Information includes advice on identifying flooding risks, protecting property against flooding, necessary steps to be taken if a property is flooded, and assessing and repairing property damaged by flooding.

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

Originally published 7.06am

Read: “The country is saturated”: Safety warnings as Storm Frank gets ready to hit Ireland

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