herald

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Battered by Brendan - warnings as 130kph winds and coastal flooding set to hit country

Walkers at the South Bull Wall as high winds churn up the sea during high tide
Walkers at the South Bull Wall as high winds churn up the sea during high tide

Sandbags at the ready as Storm Brendan touches down, bringing with him gusts of up to 130kph.

Met Eireann has issued a status orange wind warning for the entire country. The warning came into effect at 8am this morning and will remain in place until 3pm in Leinster.

Dublin City Council said in a statement that it has "been monitoring the forthcoming unsettled weather" and as a result, it will be erecting flood defences and has closed the car parks at Clontarf and Sandymount from 6am.

Dublin Port Company has also temporarily closed access to the Great South Wall - the wall out to Poolbeg Lighthouse - from 11am until 4pm and the North Bull Wall Bridge - the main bridge to Bull Island - from noon until 2.30pm.

Surge

"With wind and rain expected until Thursday this week, Dublin Port Company will continue to monitor the situation," it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Met Eireann's head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack warned that, despite predicted wind speeds of more than 130kph, the most significant risk is that of widespread flooding.

"It's a very deep, active storm," she told the Herald.

"There will be very high seas on the Atlantic coast, and this combined with a high tide and storm surge, leaves a high risk of coastal flooding around all of Ireland, not just on the west.

"There is a big risk of flooding. Local authorities have been warned and are prepared."

Ms Cusack added that Storm Brendan will not be long-lasting, however, and by this evening its major effects should have subsided.

Dublin city council shore up flood defences on Clontarf ahead of the forecasted storm. Photo: Arthur Carron.
Dublin city council shore up flood defences on Clontarf ahead of the forecasted storm. Photo: Arthur Carron.

"For Dublin probably around noon to 2pm will be peak," Ms Cusack said. "The feature here is the high risk of flooding, but it is a storm so we're expecting gusts of 130kph.

"This time of year the trees are bare, they're not in leaf so there is a risk of trees coming down across the country.

"It will be rapidly decreasing but it will be continuing in the west and north-west but it will all be gone by teatime on the same day. It's a 12-hour event but in the north-west it could last longer." The poor weather will not end then, however, as Storm Ciara is likely to be named by UK forecasters today. While Ireland will not receive the brunt of that storm, its edge will produce rain over Ireland, which due to the cold weather may freeze.

"When the storm subsides, there will be a rapid decrease in conditions," Ms Cusack said.

"For [tomorrow] though there will be a risk of some sleety snow. There's a possibility of Storm Ciara being named by the UK Met Office, tracking across the south of England. That won't affect us but we'll have to keep an eye on that.

"We'll get the rain from that storm, if it is named, but it will be cold over Ireland [tomorrow] so that rain could turn to sleet or even snow on high ground across the country.

"Overall the weather for the coming week is very, very unsettled." The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has closed a number of national parks.

"The NPWS advises the public not to visit any national parks, national monuments or nature reserves while the warnings are in place and asks for their ongoing co-operation on this matter by not entering these sites for the duration of these weather warnings," a spokesperson told the Herald.

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