Flooding in several areas as severe storm hits country

Met Éireann lifts orange warning as ESB crews work to restore power

Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 19:20

Motorists have been advised to slow down and take care as gale force winds, high tides and very high seas pound the country in the latest storm to sweep in from the Atlantic.

A Met Éireann status orange weather warning implying that all residents should be vigilant and take precautions remained in place until 7pm when it was lifted.

A status yellow marine warning has been issued for south westerly gales or strong gales continuing this evening on all Irish coastal waters.

Weather updates

The ESB said 1500 customers remain without power this evening with Castlebar in Mayo the worst hit. 500 customers in the town are affected.

Customers in parts of Ennis, Killarney, Bandon, Portlaoise, Enniscorthy and Dublin are also without power.

A spokeswoman for the ESB said they hoped to restore power to all customers tonight but that it might be challenging in some pockets due to ongoing lightening strikes during the day.

AARoadwatch has warned that high-sided vehicles are especially vulnerable on open or exposed roads. Motorists have been advised to be particularly mindful of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Parts of counties Cork, Galway, Waterford and Clare already affected by recent storms reported renewed flooding today with parts of Connemara badly hit.

In Galway, the south to south-easterly winds were not as severe as those which battered the Atlantic seaboard early last Friday, with both tide and sea swell ripping away coastal roads and causing havoc in parts of the city and county.

Some flooding occured when the Corrib broke its banks near Spanish Arch, but roads remained open. Motorists were advised to avoid driving through Salthill via the Coast Road as high tide approached but the road from Blackrock through to Salthill has now reopened. The Promenade up to Grattan Rd remains closed.

Motorists have been advised to take extreme care on the Coast road where debris has washed up between An Spidéal and Barna.

Local authorities have continued to advise caution along exposed shores, and to be aware of the risk of flying debris and sea surges caused by gusting wind combined with tides

The Clifden to Ballyconneely road (R341) is closed between Clifden Community School and the turn off for the Bog road due to flooding.

In Cork, the Lee broke its banks on Lavitts Quay. Wandesford Quay, Sharman Crawford Street and Morrison’s Island were closed earlier. Flooding on Wandesford Quay has now receded and the road is passable.

In Bantry, the Quay and Wolfe Tone Square are closed due to flooding. AA Roadwatch is also reporting spot flooding on the N71 Bandon to Cork road.

A meeting of councillors in Tralee this morning has called for the situation in Kerry to be designated as emergency requiring an emergency response.

The county manager is to apply for special funding to the Department of the Environment after widespread damage included the reported destruction of four blue flag beaches.

Elsewhere, excess surface water has been reported on the M7 Limerick to Dublin road between J24 Toomevara and J23 Moneygall.

In Wicklow, gardaí are advising motorists to take care on the N11 Dublin to Wexford road south of Bray due to strong cross-winds and surface water.

Residents and motorists have been advised to take extreme care near Lahinch where debris and rocks have been washed up on the Lahinch to Lisdoonvarna road (R478) between Lahinch and Liscannor.

Met Éireann warned earlier that high tides will bring a further risk of flooding. Widespread southwesterly gales continuing today with gusts ranging 90 to 120km/h and gales are expected to abate tonight but it will remain very blustery.

Heavy thundery downpours may lead to local spot flooding inland also, the agency said and excess surface water has been reported in parts of the midlands.

Elsewhere, the Commissioners of Irish Lights, which runs 72 of the country’s lighthouses, said all its services and navigation aides were functioning normally despite some water damage to some buildings and outhouses. “The service we provide for mariners, trade and shipping is functioning properly,” a spokesman said.

A wall around a lighthouse on Inis Oirr on the Aran islands was knocked over by waves, while an old disused building was flooded. Water damage was also caused to a building at the Blacksod lighthouse in Mayo where the helipad was put out of action due to waves crashing over the sea wall. A helicopter reconnaissance trip is expected to be planned for when weather conditions are suitable to check on possible structural damage to offshore lighthouses.

Irish Ferries has advised intending passengers that all Swift sailings have been cancelled. Sailings on the Rosslare to Pembroke route have also been cancelled and passengers are advised to contact the company. All Stena sailings are expected to depart on time.

Passage East car ferry in Waterford has resumed it services following flooding in Passage East.

A full train service between Waterford and Dublin and Waterford and Limerick Junction resumes today after repairs were carried out following a recent landslide on the line at Waterford Station.

Met Éireann has predicted that the stormy weather will abate as the week progresses. The agency is predicting clear spells tonight and scattered heavy showers. Today’s gales will abate tonight but it will remain very blustery. Tomorrow will be a cold bright day with light winds. The day will remain largely dry save for a few scattered wintry showers near west coasts. Milder temperatures are expected towards the end of the week.

* Send us your photos or videos from the storm to news@irishtimes.com

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