Storm Jorge lashes Ireland with severe winds and heavy rain
Thousands left without power as Met Éireann issues series of wind and rain alerts
A swimmer at Blackrock in Galway braves the elements as Storm Jorge hits Ireland. Photograph: Damien Storan
Thousands of properties were left without power on Saturday evening as Storm Jorge passed over the country, bringing heavy winds.
A number of roads were impassable across the country due to fallen trees, with gusts of 133km/h recorded in the west. A status red wind warning was in place for Galway and Clare on Saturday morning and afternoon. Orange and yellow alerts were put in place in place for much of the country until midnight.
By 6pm, 5,000 ESB customers were without power, with a one fault in Saggart accounting for almost half of that number, according to a spokesman. ESB crews were working into the evening and it was expected that all faults would be repaired on Saturday night.
Met Éireann said there is a continuing risk of flooding in Connacht and Donegal due to already saturated ground and elevated river levels. A yellow snow and ice warning is also in place for the entire country until 9am on Sunday.
Gardaí had to attend the scene of an incident where a truck overturned in high winds in the Maam Cross area of Connemara, Co Galway on Saturday afternoon. There were no injuries, according to gardaí.
Met Éireann said severe winds associated with Storm Jorge would continue, with gusts of between 100km/h and 130km/h in the southwest. Winds were due to gradually ease from the south through Saturday evening as the storm centre drifts away northeastwards.
“There continues to be an elevated risk of coastal flooding,” said the forecaster.
A status orange wind warning was put in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo and Clare until midnight Saturday. A yellow wind warning is in place for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan , Roscommon, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford until 10pm on Saturday.
A yellow rainfall warning is also in place for Connacht and Donegal until midnight on Saturday.
The National Emergency Co-ordination Group met on Saturday and will convene again on Sunday morning.
Speaking at a media briefing on Saturday, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said “people are not to travel” if local conditions do not appear safe.
“There is a potential for damage from gusts everywhere in the country today. People need to be alert and need to be aware,” Mr Murphy said.
“We are anticipating greater weather impacts later today and we are anticipating disruptions for public events, for power supply, for travel and for public transport as well. All necessary resources have been deployed to help those who are vulnerable, homeless and those at risk of flooding.”
The Irish Coast Guard has warned the public to stay away from exposed areas and to report any persons they see in difficulty.
Garda Superintendent Liam Geraghty said Storm Jorge was presenting “challenging and dangerous conditions” in the west of the country.
“An Garda Síochána are currently investigating a number of tragic incidents on our road network overnight and early this morning, unconnected with Storm Jorge, but the emergency services do not need to be presented with any further tragic incidents to deal with this afternoon,” he said.
The Defence Forces are continuing to support local authorities in Limerick, Clare and Westmeath with sandbagging, the maintenance of pumps and providing transport to isolated areas.
Derek Hynes, from ESB Networks, advised the public to stay clear of any fallen trees or wires. The ESB’s emergency number to report such matters is 1850 372 999.