Motorists urged to take extra care as remnants of storm Helene arrive

Weather warning issued with flooding expected on some western coasts

Motorists have been advised by AA Ireland to avoid driving through flood water when possible. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Motorists have been advised by AA Ireland to avoid driving through flood water when possible. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Motorists have been advised to take extra care on the roads over the coming days with heavy downpours expected as the remnants of tropical Storm Helene pass over Ireland.

AA Ireland has advised motorists to take extra care while driving following a status yellow rainfall warning from Met Éireann for counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.

The weather warning, which comes ahead of the National Ploughing Championships, will remain in place from 1pm on Monday, September 17th to 5pm on Tuesday, September 18th. Downpours of between 25mm and 40mm of rain are predicted over the affected counties with localised flooding in places.

AA Ireland called on drivers to “adapt their driving” to suit the weather conditions and to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians as visibility may be reduced during heavy rain.

Met Éireann has also issued a status yellow gale warning with winds of gale force 8 at times on Monday on Irish coastal waters from Valentia to Slyne Head to Bloody Foreland and on the Irish Sea later in the afternoon and evening.

On Monday night, rain will spread eastwards across Ireland bringing heavy rain to many areas for a time and a risk of spot flooding.

The meteorological service also said yellow level warning criteria might be reached in counties Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Dublin, Meath and Louth.

The rain will clear northeastwards on Tuesday morning with cloud breaking to produce sunny spells.

However, more rain will edge in from the Atlantic affecting the west and southwest of the country with scattered outbreaks extending eastwards through the afternoon. It will become blustery with southwesterly winds increasing to become fresh and strong along coastal areas. Temperatures will rise to between 17 and 20 degrees.

Wet and windy

The wet and windy weather will continue on Wednesday morning but winds will ease through the afternoon as the rain clears. It will be mainly dry on Wednesday evening with rain developing in the south and west later in the night.

Thursday will be wet across most of the country with the heaviest rain in the south and the east. Friday is expected to be bright and blustery with strong westerly winds and scattered showers.

AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan warned that the large volume of rainfall combined with the lengthy, dry spell that Ireland experienced during the summer months would result in “significantly more slippery” roads.

While the arrival of Helene will not bring conditions anywhere near those experienced during Storm Ophelia, Mr Faughnan urged motorists not to be complacent during the bad weather.

Motorists should avoid driving through flood water when possible and when there are no alternatives, the driver must drop the speed and use a lower gear to protect the car, he said. “Driving through flood water at high speeds is not only inconsiderate but can also result in the air intake of your car drawing water into the engine which can cause significant and expensive damage.”