Saturday, February 15, 2020

High seas at Garrettstown, Co Cork during Storm Dennis. Picture: Denis Minihane

Latest: The country is being lashed by heavy rain and winds for the second weekend in a row.

Storm Dennis has resulted in a number of warnings being issued by Met Éireann across the weekend.

The warnings for today and tomorrow are:

  • Yellow wind warning – This is in place for the entire country. It came into effect at 3pm this afternoon and will remain in place until 11pm on Sunday night.
  • Orange wind warning – This warning is for counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick. This warning will be in effect from 10am Sunday morning until 10pm that evening.
  • Areas under the Status Orange wind warning tomorrow can expect severe gusts of up to 120km/h while during the Status Yellow wind warning the country will see winds of 50 to 65km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/h.

    Traffic and travel services are all being impacted by Storm Dennis this afternoon which is also having an affect on power supplies around the country.

    ESB Networks are working to restore power to affected areas.

    There are currently 3,000 customers without power around the country. The areas worst affected include Rathmore, Co Kerry; Clonmel, Co Tipperary and Macroom, Co Cork.

    Some travel services are also being impacted but so far only a small number of flights have been cancelled at Dublin Airport.

    Cork and Shannon flights are operating as planned but airlines say that could change as the day progresses so people should contact them before travelling.

    On the Irish Sea this afternoon’s Stena Line service between Rosslare and Cherbourg has been cancelled as has their Fishguard sailing while Irish Ferries’ Rosslare Pembroke departure has also been cancelled.

    Both companies say their Dublin/Holyhead routes are operational.

    Flooding has been reported on some roads around Dublin.

    Independent South Dublin County Councillor Francis Timmins said that some roads in Drimnagh are virtually impassable.

    According to Cllr Timmins, the County Council has been “inundated” with reports of flooding this afternoon.

    AA Roadwatch are reporting heavy flooding in areas in counties Sligo and Kildare.

    Motorists are being advised to slow down and allow more room to brake during the wet and windy weather.

    They also remind drivers that heavy rain can affect visibility.

    As the storm brings high winds and gusty weather, motorists should give a wide berth to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and those operating high-sided vehicles should be aware that they are especially vulnerable to strong gusts.

    Any homeless people around the Dolphin’s Barn area of Dublin are being offered shelter from the storm at a local petrol station.

    The Maxol garage says anyone in need is welcome to its shop for food and shelter until the storm passes.

    Supervisor Lizzie O’Hare says the invitation has been extended for the whole weekend.

    “You see how extremely bad that weather is outside with the storm so we are doing this for the whole weekend,” said Ms O’Hare.

    “We are inviting any homeless person who doesn’t have family or anyone else to look after them to come in.”

    Homeless Dublin has said it has enhanced services and extra beds available this weekend.

    They ask that anyone who knows or sees someone sleeping rough during the storm to get in touch with them via their website or by phone.

    A number of sporting events have had to be postponed due to the poor weather conditions.

    Due to Storm Dennis the National Parks and Wildlife Service has advised that there will be a number of closures tomorrow.

  • Coole-Garryland Nature Reserve, Gort, Co. Galway
  • Connemara National Park
  • Knockma Wood, near Tuam, Co. Galway
  • Wild Nephin, Ballycroy National Park
  • Old Head Nature Reserve
  • Laughil Wood, near Pontoon, Co. Mayo
  • Killarney House and Gardens
  • Muckross House
  • The public is advised not to visit any National Parks, National Monuments or Nature Reserves whilst the Status Orange is in place in those areas.

    Orange weather warning to affect nine counties tomorrow; 5k homes and businesses without power

    Update 1.45pm: A status orange warning for wind has been issued for nine more counties.

    The warning comes into effect tomorrow and applies to counties Cork, Kerry, Clare, Limerick, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.

    Winds in those counties could reach speeds of up to 120km/h.

    The warning is valid from 10am to 10pm tomorrow.

    It comes as an orange warning was issued for Wexford and Waterford until 8pm tonight where winds could gust up to 120 km/h.

    Meanwhile, status yellow wind and rain warnings are in place for the rest of the country until 8pm and 9pm today respectively.

    Over 5,000 homes and businesses across the country are without power following the arrival of Storm Dennis.

    The worst affected area is in Rathmore, in Co Kerry where over 1,700 have lost electricity, while 1,400 have lost electricity in Macroom, Co Cork and in Clonee in Co Meath a further 500 have no power.

    The ESB says crews are working to fix the problems.

    A small number of flights to and from Dublin Airport have been cancelled today due to Storm Dennis.

    There may also be some further delays as the day continues, and intending passengers are advised to check with their airline before heading to the airport.

    This afternoon’s Stena ferry sailing from Rosslare to Cherbourg has been cancelled along with all sailings from Fishguard – and this evening’s Stena sailing from Holyhead to Dublin has been delayed by 90 minutes.

    Irish Ferries’ evening service is currently expected to sail on time.

    Earlier: Wind warning upgraded to orange for Wexford and Waterford

    Update 10.50am: Met Éireann has issued a status orange warning for wind for two counties in the south-east as Storm Dennis moves across Ireland.

    The orange alert is in place for Wexford and Waterford until 8pm tonight where winds could gust up to 120 km/h.

    Status yellow wind and rain warnings are in place for the rest of the country until 8pm and 9pm respectively.

    Earlier: Drivers urged to be cautious on roads as Storm Dennis arrives

    Update 7.07am: The Road Safety Authority is urging motorists to be extremely careful today as Storm Dennis arrives.

    Gusts of up to 100km/hr and up to 30mm of rain are forecast in parts of Ireland in the coming days.

    Met Éireann is warning of potential flooding as the severe winds and rain combine.

    A status-yellow warning for wind will be in place until 9pm, while a status-yellow rain warning will last until at least 8pm.

    The RSA’s Brian Farrell says people should only drive if absolutely necessary.

    “In heavy rain, visibility is reduced, the ability to stop your vehicle compared to normal, dry conditions is reduced,” he said.

    “It’s important for you to slow down, it’s important for you to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

    “There’s a chance of spot flooding, especially in coastal areas and also off national routes on country roads where there may be a dip in the road and there’s a risk of water ponding.”

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