Storm Lorenzo update: Cork schools told to err on the side of caution

Storm Lorenzo update: Cork schools told to err on the side of caution
Graphic from the US National Hurricane Center showing the likely path of Storm Lorenzo.

Update: Schools in Cork have been told to err on the side of caution when it comes to remaining open or closed for the duration of Storm Lorenzo.

The Department of Education said: "Schools are empowered to make closure decisions if, in their judgment in the interests of the safety of the school community, it is prudent to do so."

"Schools and all education centres (universities, IoTs and further education centres) in areas affected by a status orange alert should remain vigilant, and keep themselves appraised of any hourly and other updates from Met Éireann, and from their local authorities, local radio, and an Garda Síochána."

Update: The Dursey Island Cable Car is to close Thursday and Friday due to the expected arrival of Storm Lorenzo.

Cork County Council said the cable car is scheduled to reopen on Saturday subject to inspection. This inspection will take place as soon as conditions will allow.

Cork County Council's Crisis Management Team and Severe Weather Assessment Team have both convened in response to this weather warning and reviewed preparations. Council response crews and contractors have been put on notice and are on standby.

A high tide advisory and a storm surge is expected Thursday morning with a risk for high onshore wave activity. All coastal areas including Bantry, Castletownbere, Schull, Castletownend, Union Hall, Leap, Baltimore, Kinsale, Carrigaline and Midlteton are liable to coastal flooding. People living near coastal, cliff and waterway areas are asked to be extra cautious considering the forecasted winds which can lead to wave surges. Cork County Council also asks mariners to check moorings and vessels etc. today before the weather worsens.

Cork County Council expects the main impact from Storm Lorenzo to include fallen trees from high winds and surface flooding resulting from heavy rain on saturated soils combined with falling leaves blocking drains and gullies.

Cork County Council advises road users to be aware of the danger posed by high winds. Driving conditions will be hazardous with surface flooding likely and motorists are reminded to take additional care and be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians.

Cork City Council has issued a flood warning ahead of Storm Lorenzo and will be putting in place traffic restrictions in specific areas during high tide tomorrow at 9.23am.

Cork City Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team met this morning and held a teleconference with Met Éireann to assess the potential impact of Storm Lorenzo on Cork City.

In view of the weather warning, Cork City Council is extending the current flood warning as there remains a risk of high tides causing localised flooding this Thursday along low-lying quays in the usual locations in the City Centre; i.e. South Terrace, Morrison’s Quay, Fr Matthew Quay, Trinity Bridge, Union Quay, Wandesford Quay, Frenche’s Quay, Crosses Green, Lavitt’s Quay, Kyrl’s Quay.

The statement from the Council said that Cork City Council will have crews on standby to deal with any incidents arising from the severe weather.

The Dursey Island cable car will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Picture Denis Minihane.
The Dursey Island cable car will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Picture Denis Minihane.

The Council’s Severe Weather Assessment team is continuing to keep matters under review and is due to meet again at noon tomorrow.

A status orange wind warning has been issued for Cork by Met Eireann The weather agency has predicted southwesterly winds veering westerly will reach mean speeds 65 to 80km/h with gusts generally of 100 to 130km/h.

These winds could be higher in coastal regions.

The warning is from 4pm tomorrow until 1am on Friday.

The storm surges are expected to produce coastal flooding and damage.

AA Ireland issued a number of precautionary measures for homeowners ahead of the bad weather.

The organisation recommended clearing any loose debris from the gutters and drains of your home ahead of the storm, as well as trimming any bushes or small trees which could cause damage to your home during high winds before the weather warning comes into effect.

Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann Evelyn Cusack briefing the media ahead of storm Lorenzo as it progresses across the Atlantic. Photo: Sam Boal/
Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann Evelyn Cusack briefing the media ahead of storm Lorenzo as it progresses across the Atlantic. Photo: Sam Boal/

Senior Media Officer with AA Ireland Barry Aldworth said: “While we’re all hoping that we’ll avoid the worst of Lorenzo, the warnings from Met Eireann today do highlight that there is a risk of significant storm damage being caused to homes across the country as a result of strong winds and heavy rainfall.

“Ultimately prevention is better than cure, so if there are loose tiles on your room or older, weak trees in your garden that could be turned into flying debris in strong winds now is the time to attend to these.” Mr Aldworth stressed that these measures should only be taken prior to the weather warning coming into effect.

“Once the warnings come into effect, however, it’s important to avoid carrying out any work outside your home and to prioritise the safety of you and your family. Even if conditions outside appear calm, we would encourage everyone to follow the warnings from Met Eireann.” The AA is also preparing for an expected increase in callouts relating to flood-damaged vehicles as a result of the heavy rainfall expected as Storm Lorenzo passes over Ireland and is urging motorists to exercise additional caution when driving over the next 48 hours.

“In 2018, our Rescue patrols attended to over 100 vehicles which were damaged by flood water.

While that may not seem like a significant number, it needs to be put in the context of the much milder weather we experienced last year.

That number could be much higher this winter as a result of events like Lorenzo,” Aldworth added. “Motorists are best advised to keep up to date with the warnings from Met Eireann in advance of any journeys over the coming days, but also to take extra care of pedestrians and cyclists.”

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