Storm Gertrude: Met Éireann issues Saturday warnings

Forecaster cautions public on wind, snow and ice alerts for north and northwest

Footage from Storm Frank in mid-December. Overnight, severe and damaging winds from Storm Gertrude have swept across the country.


Met Éireann has issued wind, snow and ice warnings for the north and northwest for Saturday.

The wind warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo envisages coastal areas will be affected by westerly winds with gusts gusts to 100 km/h.
Met Éireann said sleet and snow showers were expected in the area overnight giving several centimetres of snow on high ground, and a covering at some lower levels.
Towards morning a scattering of wintry showers will spread further south and east and snow and icy patches would devlop day in many parts of the country in spite of the wind, early on Saturday.

Saturday will feature fresh and gusty westerly winds, with sunny spells and scattered blustery showers through the day. Some showers will be wintry, mainly in the north.
Long dry spells will occur across the east and southeast where highest temperatures are expected to be just 3  to 6 degrees, but feeling colder due to the wind-chill effect.
The outlook is for mild weather on Sunday but with cloud and some rain, brighter weather heading into the next week but turning rather cold and blustery with a mix of sunshine and showers.

In the wake of Sorm Gertrude most homes and businesses which lost power were reconnectedby Friday night as network crews in the Republic and Northern Ireland carried out repairs.

The latest Atlantic Storm which saw winds of up to 100 km/h brought down trees and electricity cables across a large swathe of the northwest and Northern Ireland, as well as causing network failures in parts of north Dublin and Wicklow.

Spokesman for ESB Networks Paul Hand said the worst affected areas included counties Donegal, Mayo and Sligo.
A total of 10,000 premises were affected at the height of the disruption, but he said most homes could expect to be reconnected by early afternoon, and remaining pockets by 9pm.

The most significant power faults were in Co Mayo, where 1,546 homes on the Aran Islands and a further 500 homes in Westport and Cong were cut off.
In Co Cavan, 1,592 homes in Killeshandra were without power with another 520 in Bailieboro were cut off.
In Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, 1,145 house were without power due to a major fault.
About 290 residents of Athenry, Co Galway, were also without power.
There were also smaller faults around Deansgrange, Co Dublin, and in Rathmore in Co Cork.
A spokswoman for Northern Ireland Electricity Networks said 15,000 premises across Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry and Antrim were cut off due to Storm Gertrude. She said about 4,000 remained to b econnected by midday.

Fallen trees

Trees fell across roads in the northwest with approach roads to Sligo Town, the N15 and N16 badly affected.

The Tubbercurry to Boyle road was closed outside Tubbercurry at Oghambaun and Quarryfield on Friday due to flooding. Local diversions were in place.
Trees are also down at Beltra and on the Sligo side of Glencar. The Enniscrone to Tullylin Road was closed at Lacknaslevia due to flooding.
In Co Leitrim a tree fell on the Manorhamilton to Kinlough road on the Kinlough side of Glenade Chapel. Another blocked the Croghan to Carrick-on-Shannon road just outside Carrick-on-Shannon.

In Co Donegal there were reports of trees down on the Bundoran to Sligo road. A tree is partially blocking traffic on the N14 Lifford to Letterkenny Road at Rossgier.
A fallen tree blocked the road on the Tullyowen to Carrigans Road in Co Donegal, the R236. Also in Donegal the Harry Blaney Bridge over Mulroy Bay is closed due to high winds.

Local authorities have urged motorists to venture out only is absolutely necessary.