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Storm Diana: People urged to report rough sleepers to homeless charity

People are being urged to keep an eye out for anyone sleeping rough ahead of Storm Diana.

Heavy winds are set to hit the country by tomorrow morning with a number of weather warnings in place.

Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless says people should not have to sleep rough in such conditions.

"People are miserable, people can't get access to beds," said Mr Flynn.

"We've heard that the beds are available, the beds are in the system.

The beds are clearly not in the system, we know that because 114 people slept on the streets. On one night last week, 179 people slept rough on the streets.

"So the figures haven't reduced in any way, shape or form.

"We haven't seen any kind of contingency from the Dublin region Homeless Executive in regard to bed implementation."

People are being urged to report anyone who they spot sleeping rough.

"Bad weather is very dangerous, we have people that could die of hypothermia, people that are exhausted out there - physially, mentally and emotionally exhausted - that are walking the streets.

"People were asked to leave hostels today and had no access to day services, many facilities are closed right throughout the day.

"We are asking people to direct people towards us."

The weather was bad in many parts of the country today and tomorrow is set to be even worse.

An orange wind warning is in place for Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Galway and Clare from tomorrow morning

While a yellow warning is in place for the rest of the country.

An orange warning means Be Prepared as the weather conditions have the capacity to cause a significant impact.

Barry Aldworth of the AA is encouraging people to make sure they have items in the garden or house securely tied down.

"If they are a little bit ahead of the game, they may have Christmas decorations in the garden, now is the time ahead of these winds to make sure that these items are secure, fixed down or tidied away," said Mr Aldworth.

"They can easily become windborne debris if we get the winds that Met Éireann are warning about and they can cause quite a significant bit of damage."

Dublin Port re-opens but there is worse to come with Storm Diana tomorrow

A Status Orange wind alert has been issued for western and southern counties for tomorrow as storm Diana is set to hit the country.

The rest of the country will be subject to a Status Yellow alert.

Forecasters expect winds of 65 to 80 km/h in Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Galway and Clare with gusts of up to 130km/h.

The alert is in effect from 6am to 12 noon in the first three counties, while the latter three will be under the alert between 9am and 2pm tomorrow. They have said that there is a risk of coastal flooding also.

Storm Diana will bring gale force winds for the whole country between 5am and 4pm tomorrow.

Met Eireann also forecasts heavy rainfall in Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan tomorrow, with some surface flooding.

Motorists are being advised that when driving in strong winds, their stopping distance could be greatly increased.

AA Ireland estimates that when driving in stormy conditions it can take more than 170 metres for a car to come to a complete stop if driving at 120km/h.

    RSA advice for road users:

  • Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong crosswinds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
  • Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times
  • Advice to Pedestrians, Cyclists and motorcyclists:
  • Be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
  • Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Earlier: Dublin Port re-opens after high winds block shipping operations

Dublin Port is re-opening to cargo and passenger ships following high winds this morning.

Freight staff were told to leave their cranes and stop lifting containers for health and safety reasons.

Trucks waiting at Dublin Port today. Pic: Gareth Chaney Collins

There were also delays to some passenger ferries, while traffic at the Port Tunnel was only being let in in waves.

Charlie Murphy from Dublin Port said the winds have died down, for now.

He said: "We were up to 75 knots earlier on this morning, we're back down below 20 knots now so operations have all resumed in the container terminals and ferries are back up and running."

Earlier: Strong winds close Dublin Port; traffic delayed by more than 40 minutes

Strong winds have forced the closure of Dublin Port to shipping.

Gardaí have said it has had a knock-on effect on traffic in the area.

People heading to Dublin Airport are also being advised to leave extra time for their journey.

Traffic is being restricted entering the South Bore of the Port Tunnel and is busy entering and leaving it.

It is busiest along the Grand Canal eastbound from Harold's Cross to Ranelagh Road. If possible traffic should use alternate routes.

AA Roadwatch reporting delays of over 40 minutes on the M1 heading to the Port Tunnel.

Truck drivers travelling north of Lusk Service station in County Dublin are being asked to pull over temporarily due to traffic backlogs.

Up to 600 trucks are backed up as Dublin Port's lift on/lift off service has been suspended due to high winds and the direction of winds.

Charlie Murphy, communications spokesperson for Dublin Port told RTE’s Morning Ireland that roll on/roll off services will continue and that ships in Dublin Bay will continue to dock.

Terminal operators at Dublin Port made the decision to suspend the lift on/lift off service due to the unusual direction of winds which are “blowing straight into the port,” he said.

“This doesn’t happen very often and the decision was made in the interest of health and safety.”

The unusual combination of the strength and direction of the winds is making it unsafe to unload large containers off trucks.

It is anticipated that wind direction will change at lunchtime when terminal operators will decide if it is safe to resume unloading.

Fire service personnel work to open the road after a tree fell and blocked the road at Drakes Pool outside Crosshaven, Co. Cork, this morning. Pic: David Creedon

Debris has been reported on the M6/N6 between Tullamore and Tyrellspass, while there is surface flooding on the N73 between Kildorrey and Mallow in Cork.

A Status Yellow Wind Warning is in place until 3pm for Munster, Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Galway, Mayo, Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim, where gusts of up to 110 kilometres per hour are forecast.

It comes as Met Eireann warns of surface flooding due to heavy rainfall today.

The forecaster issued a Status Yellow rainfall warning for Munster, Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Galway and Mayo is in effect until 2pm this afternoon.

- Digital Desk