Met Éireann lifts warning as Atlantic storm passes

Co-ordination group says flooding still possible as many rivers remain swollen

Waves crashing over the bandstand in Dun Laoghaire earlier this week. High tides and strong winds continued to batter Irish coasts today. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Waves crashing over the bandstand in Dun Laoghaire earlier this week. High tides and strong winds continued to batter Irish coasts today. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Sun, Feb 9, 2014, 08:39

Met Éireann has lifted its weather warning for inland counties but said that a yellow warning remains in place on Irish coastal waters.

Despite forecasts of wind speeds of up to 130km/ and heavy prolonged showers there are few reports of new flooding overnight.

The National Co-ordination Group on Severe Weather said yesterday all State agencies, emergency services and local authorities would remain on high alert this weekend as Atlantic storm Ruth makes its way eastwards across the country.

It said last night that rivers were still badly swollen and flooding was still possible.

Brian Kenny, national director of fire and emergency management, said yesterday slow-moving rivers, including the Shannon, Barrow, Nore and Blackwater, were already swollen and at serious risk of overflowing in the coming days.

“Everyone should take regard of the weather warnings as they’re issued and heed them,” he said.

Mr Kenny added that people swimming in flooded waters, which can contain sewage, did so “with a lot of risk. Flood water by its very nature carries a lot of bacteria.”

The Irish Coast Guard has reissued a warning for people to stay away from beaches and coastal paths while warnings are in place.

Met Éireann is forecasting a windy and showery morning and said showers will become isolated in the afternoon, except in the southwest and northwest.

It said strong northwest to west winds will ease in the afternoon leading to a maximum temperature of 8 degrees.

The group said all weather warnings issued by Met Éireann were being reviewed by the Department of the Environment, and contact was ongoing with local authorities, emergency services and State agencies, which are on high alert.