herald

Thursday 25 April 2019

130kph winds expected as Storm Erik batters Ireland

Winds could bring disruption. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Winds could bring disruption. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Met Eireann has issued severe weather warnings as Storm Erik bears down on Ireland.

The forecaster said the 130kph winds could bring widespread "disruption".

A status orange wind warning - valid until 1pm today - is in place for Donegal, Galway and Mayo.

A status yellow warning - valid until 6am tomorrow - has been issued for the rest of the country.

South-west to west winds will reach speeds of 80kph with severe gusts of 130kph.

The worst weather will be in exposed coastal areas, where even higher wind speeds could be experienced.

There will also be high seas and coastal flooding.

Risks

A Coast Guard spokesperson asked the public to "heed warnings and take appropriate action".

"The Coast Guard is asking users of smaller vessels to pay particular attention to the weather warnings and for the public to be mindful of the risks on exposed areas, in particular piers, walkways and cliff areas.

"As always, if you see anybody in trouble, or think they are in trouble along the coast or at sea, dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard."

The Road Safety Authority is urging road users to exercise caution, warning them to "expect the unexpected".

Met Eireann said the gale force winds and severe gusts will ease later in the day.

There will also be rain this morning, but this will clear eastwards followed by heavy showers.

The weekend will see a mixture of sunny spells and scattered showers with frost and ice forming at night.

It will be cold again on Saturday with top temperatures of just 6C-9C with fresh westerly winds.

Sunday will be another bright day with sunny spells and more showers, these most frequent in the west and north.

Meanwhile, a Dublin-based wildlife rescue centre has said that last year's heatwave had a detrimental effect on its hedgehogs and it is now raising funds for a new air handling unit.

Hedgehog Rescue Dublin said that during the record-breaking temperatures of last year, it had to close its doors and move all animals into the house.

Its volunteers have set up a GoFundMe page with a target of €2,000.

The money will be used to buy a new cooling/heating system which will keep the hedgehogs happy during both summer and winter months.

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