Stormy conditions to continue
Storm-force winds are expected to batter the west coast again tonight, continuing several days of strong gales and flooding.
The interpretive centre at the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare was closed today and visitors were warned to stay away from the area because of “extremely dangerous” gusts.
The strong winds experienced in all coastal areas overnight and today are expected to ease everywhere by early this evening and showers will become isolated, but wet and windy conditions will sweep eastwards across the country again overnight, with storm force gales expected along the west coast, with gusts of up to 110km per hour expected.
Lightning storms and gale force gusts have brought down power cables and left thousands of homes and businesses without telephone and broadband services in recent days.
A spokesman for Eircom said more than 4,500 faults had been reported, and all available staff are working to repair the lines in an effort to restore service to customers as quickly as possible.
AA Roadwatch has advised drivers travelling in windy conditions to be prepared for sudden gusts, to keep both hands on the wheel, reduce speed, and give a wide berth to cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
Motorists have also been advised that wind-blown debris is causing obstructions on many secondary roads around the country.
The N3 Cavan/Belturbet Rd is still closed between Butlersbridge and Belturbet following flood damage yesterday. Driving conditions are particularly wet and blustery in Galway City this afternoon.
Storms are also battering the UK, with flood warnings and alerts in place around the south coast of England.
A six-month-old child narrowly avoided drowning after being blown into the water from the docks in Somerset, while a 35 metre high wind turbine collapsed in Devon after being hit by gale force gusts.
Met Éireann is expecting the strong winds to continue tomorrow, with heavy rain forecast for northern counties. It will be cool, with temperatures ranging from 7 to 10 degrees.
Rain and sleet will push southwards across the country on Friday. Temperatures will drop to minus 3 degrees on Friday night, with frost and ice expected. The weekend will be cold and bright, with blustery winds forecast again for Sunday.