Storm Brian: How is it impacting on your area?
Parts of Limerick are flooded as powerful winds continue to batter the country
Clean-up is under way as water levels fall on the River Shannon Photograph: Limerick Leader
It will remain very windy in the north and east of the country on Saturday. Photograph: Limerick Leader
The centre of Storm Brian which brought flooding to parts of the country this morning has passed over the east of the country and moved across to Britain.
The storm brought powerful northwesterly winds to the west coast, with gusts of 110 and 130km/h, and these winds were expected to move northwards and eastwards as the day progressed.
Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy said the gale force northwesterly winds will track along on the west coast this afternoon but said there would not be “any in comparison” to what was experienced last week with Storm Ophelia.
The Met Éireann forecaster said as of midday there was some very heavy rain in the east and this rainbelt was moving eastwards across the country and was expected to clear in the next few hours.
The winds will gradually moderate and showers will become more scattered, but it will remain very windy in the north and east of the country, the forecaster said.
Iarnród Éireann announced on Saturday evening that restrictions on rail speeds have been lifted.
Earlier in the day, Intercity rail services were showing delays of 15 to 30 minutes on the following routes: Tralee to Mallow, Cork to Dublin, Waterford to Dublin, Rosslare Europort to Dublin.
Parts of Limerick city along O’Callaghan Strand were flooded this morning due to a combination of high tides and heavy rain, but a clean-up is under way as Limerick Council reports water levels are now falling on the river Shannon.
The council said there was also flooding in front of Sarsfield House, Merchant’s Quay plaza and Limerick Courthouse Potato Market.
Bus Éireann said that due to flooding on Clancy Strand some routes are operating via the Ennis Road.
It also said that customers cannot access the Cliffs of Moher today due to hazardous weather.
Galway City Council have said that while the eye of Storm Brian may have moved on, there is still need for caution outdoors throughout the day as a wind warning remains in place.
Spot flooding on roads in Kerry has receded and a number of trees, already weakened by Storm Opehlia, which were brought down have been cleared, Kerry County Council said.
However, surface water is reported on many roads and motorists are urged to remain vigilant. The N71 near Moll’s Gap is closed until further notice due to flooding, as is the Glenflesk to Barraduff road.
Areas of Tralee and Kenmare were being “closely monitored”, senior council engineer David Doyle said.
About 100 council ground crew workers backed up by the Civil Defence were mobilised at 5am to check water levels ahead of high tide in the county, which has 1,000km of coastline, much of it “soft” or vulnerable, Mr Doyle said.
Severe weather events were becoming more frequent and this year the storm season had started early, he said.
“It is starting early in the season and we’ve had two good tests now,” Mr Doyle said.
Thousands of sandbags are now stored in council depots for distribution and filled as weather warnings are given. Crews are dispatched with chainsaws, pumping and other equipment when it is safe to go out to affected areas.
Gullies blocked with leaves since Monday were freed in advance of last night and this meant spot flooding receded relatively quickly.
Trees blocking the N70 at Blackwater this morning have now been cleared.
Meanwhile, local authorities in Cork urged the public to be careful when venturing out, as although the city and county escaped largely unscathed overnight from Storm Brian, weather warnings from Met Éireann were in place for the southwest for most of the day.
Cork County Council advised people to avoid coastal areas and to exercise extreme caution while driving, as Met Éireann had issued a status orange wind warning and status yellow rain warning for much of Saturday.
Cork city appeared to have escaped Storm Brian, with gardaí at Anglesea Street reporting no flooding along Morrison’s Island, Wandesford Quay or South Terrace.
According to gardaí, no new trees have been knocked down in the city by Storm Brian, despite windspeeds that were expected to hit 65 to 80km/h, gusting 110 to 130km/h.
Centre Park Road remains closed after more than 30 trees were knocked down by Storm Ophelia on Monday.
Gardaí in Midleton in east Cork were reporting no problems due to flooding this morning, with both Bailick Road in Midleton and Belvelly in Cobh clear and open to traffic. They did urge caution on the Ladysbridge to Garryvoe road, which was closed on Friday due to flooding from runoff in nearby fields.
Cork Airport was operating as normal this morning, with all departures taking off as scheduled and only one arrival, a Ryanair flight from London-Stansted, being diverted to Shannon, as Storm Brian failed to have any major impact on operations.
Brittany Ferries had earlier decided to cancel ferry sailings to and from Cork this weekend because of the adverse weather conditions, with its Friday evening sailing from Roscoff in Brittany to Cork also cancelled.
However, the official opening of the new €80 million Páirc Uí Chaoimh is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday with both the replay of the Cork Senior Football Final between Nemo Rangers and St Finbarr’s and the Cork Senior Hurling Final between Blackrock and Imokilly down for decision.