Flood warning issued as gusts of over 130km/h forecast

ESB working to restore power to 500 homes in Co Donegal, mainly in the Glenties region

Stormy conditions are expected nationwide today and onwards, with very high winds and high waves posing a risk of coastal flooding.

Met Éireann has issued a status orange weather warning, the second highest category of alert, predicting high winds of up to 130km/h for counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo and Clare.

They have also issued a lower status yellow wind warning for Munster, Leinster, Cavan and Roscommon, where winds could reach 110km/h tonight.

Rain and hail are forecast nationwide today, with a risk of snow on higher ground especially in parts of Connacht and Ulster. Temperatures will be cold with highs of 4 to 8 degrees.


Without power

ESB said there are currently 900 homes without power in Westport since 9am this morning and another 500 homes without power in the Glenties area of Donegal.

There were 1,100 homes without power over night and the ESB hope to have restored power to all homes by this afternoon.

Some Vodafone customers in the Co Wicklow areas of Delgany, Kilcoole, Druids Glen and Newtownmountkennedy experienced difficulties making calls, sending texts and accessing data as a result of adverse weather conditions during the night and early this morning. Full service has now been restored.

AA Roadwatch reported that a fallen tree in Sligo is blocking the N16 Sligo to Manorhamilton road and urged people to drive with extreme care in the wet conditions.

Disruption due to fallen trees and power lines was also reported in Co Longford.

Flights at Shannon airport are running as normal and they are not expecting any delays.

In the UK, the Met Office has also issued an amber weather warning for the west coast of Scotland, Orkney, Shetland and Northern Ireland; with high winds and waves expected.

The weather system, which is coming in from the north Atlantic, is being referred to colloquially as a “weather bomb”.

A “weather bomb” is a storm which intensifies quickly and has a rapidly dropping pressure at its centre. Its technical name is explosive cyclogenesis.

The Met Office has forecast snow on higher ground and high wind and waves for Northern Ireland, with heavy wintry showers throughout.

‘Hero’ bus driver

A bus driver is being hailed as a hero after he managed to brake seconds before a falling tree hit the body of his bus in Letterkenny in Co Donegal this morning.

The driver of the Home James bus was taking children to school in the Lisnennan area when the incident happened.

The driver managed to break in time to escape the full force of the falling tree.

A number of the 11 children on board were shaken but there were no injuries.

The tree hit the front of the bus causing some damage during the incident just before 9am.

The parents of the children were informed of the incident and the bus was later towed away.

Staff evacuated

The Cliffs of Moher visitor centre was closed and staff were evacuated from the site following strong winds and rock debris falling near viewing platforms. The centre advises that no one attempt to access the area during the current weather conditions.