Householders and motorists are being urged to take action to mitigate the impact of Storm Ellen which is expected to make landfall this evening.
The storm, which has been forming over the Atlantic, is forecast to move over the southwest of Ireland this evening, tracking northwards over the country during Wednesday night and daytime Thursday.
Met Éireann has issued an orange wind warning for Cork, with severe and potentially damaging winds expected this evening and overnight ahead of its arrival.
Evelyn Cusack, Head of forecasting, Met Éireann said that gusts generally of 80 to 100km/h can be expected this evening and gusts may exceed 130km/h in some exposed coastal and mountain locations and some lower locations due to funnelling effects.
Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director of Insuremyhouse.ie and Insuremycars.ie said there are steps householders and motorists can take.
“Ireland is no stranger to high winds and heavy rain brought about by storms – but this Summer storm is forecast to be stronger than anything we’ve experienced in quite some time. Many homeowners and motorists will be all too aware of the damage these storms can do. It’s a reality that every year homes in Ireland are destroyed by flooding, high winds, burst pipes etc. causing devastation for many affected.
While Mother Nature will take its course regardless, there are some steps people can take to limit damage where possible:
Householders Check your external walls and windows to ensure they are adequately water resistant. There are various different products, sealants and varnishes available to waterproof any areas of concern.
In the event of a flood warning in your area, it might be worth investing in sandbags and/or flood barriers to protect your property, particularly if you live in a flood risk area.
During more risky periods keep personal and expensive items as high above ground level as possible, and ensure you know where water, gas and electricity mains are, should you need to turn them off or on at any stage.
If necessary, arrange for emergency repairs to be carried out to stop any damage getting worse.
Where possible keep evidence of damaged goods and/or receipt of everything that you replace. Photographic evidence is useful If you need to move out of your home while you are being repaired, then alert your insurance provider of this as soon as possible Motorists Ensure your car isn’t parked under/ near anything that could potentially come loose and cause damage during the storm – e.g. trees/ garden furniture etc.
Avoid any unnecessary journeys Plan your route – if you must drive avoid areas with cross winds/ overarching trees etc.
Use the correct lights for visibility – be cognisant of other motorists on the road Give vehicles more space than usual Slow down – extra surface water, high gusts, objects coming loose – there are a myriad of factors that mean that you show driving slower and with extra care and caution in stormy conditions Check your tyres – if they are not roadworthy you should not drive.
Pull in – if the weather takes a turn while you are on the road find a safe location and pull in and wait for it to pass Mr. Hehir concluded, “If you are unfortunate enough to suffer any property damage or are involved in an accident, it is important that you contact your insurer immediately to initiate the claims process.”