Digital Desk Staff
Storm Barra is sweeping across Ireland, bringing flooding, travel disruptions and winds of more than 130km to some parts of the island.
The Minister for Housing has warned that the storm is only halfway through” and the strongest winds could be yet to come.
Met Éireann has warned that strong winds will continue into Tuesday night, with further damage and disruption to be expected.
Major disruption to travel, power supplies, along with coastal flooding has been experienced in many parts of the country already.
Gardaí have urged anyone living in areas affected by red or orange warnings to avoid unnecessary travel.
Cork, Kerry and Clare have been given a red warning, while an orange-level warning is in place for much of the east and west coast. A yellow warning is in place for the rest of the country from 2am on Tuesday until 6pm on Wednesday.
Met Éireann said there is a strong possibility that the alert status of some counties could move from orange to red.
There is now a threat of flooding along the east coast in areas such as Dundalk and Drogheda.
We will bring you updates of the damage caused by the storm throughout the day here.
- Schools in counties which are currently under red and orange weather warnings due to Storm Barra have been advised to remain closed on Wednesday.
- Third level institutions which are currently in, or are forecast to be in red or orange alert areas have also been advised to remain closed on Wednesday.
- Schools, colleges and creches in some of the worst affected areas were closed on Tuesday, amid warnings that no part of the island will escape from the effects of the major storm, while there will be a decision later on whether schools remain closed tomorrow.
- On Newstalk Breakfast, Minister for Education Norma Foley said that the day off school would not have to be made up at a later stage as it was a one-off extreme weather event. The priority was that everyone in the education sector was safe and secure.
- Tidal flooding has subsided in Cork city, after the River Lee burst its banks in the city centre with flooding across South Mall from the riverside quays at Morrisons Island.
- The waters reached Pembroke Street and Phoenix Street, but did not impact on properties.
- Director of Operations at Cork City Council David Joyce said a number of roads were impassable for a time following high tide shortly after 7am.
- Across the wider county of Cork, the worst affected area is Bantry, where 28 properties were hit by flooding this morning at high tide.
- Bantry Fire Brigade reported that the flooding has been cleared, and the crew are back in the station, after pumping operations earlier this morning in the town centre.
— Bantry Fire Brigade (@BantryFire) December 7, 2021
- Cork County Council crews have been on standby throughout the night and across the morning, with sandbags deployed and pumps in operation across known flood risk areas.
- River levels are also being monitored with flood barriers erected in Mallow and Fermoy yesterday.
- John Donegan, senior engineer with Cork County Council, warned motorists to stay off the roads, and if they are out, to avoid fallen trees and wires and not to drive through floodwaters.
— Liz Dunphy (@LizDunphy1) December 7, 2021
Travel delays and disruptions
- Ryanair flights out of Cork Airport have been cancelled for the rest of Tuesday evening. The airport has advised customers to contact the airline for further information.
- Traffic diversions are in place after a HGV overturned on the M8 between junction 13 and 15.
- Gardaí have said all northbound traffic is being diverted through Fermoy.
Gardaí are currently at the scene of a truck overturned on the M8.
Control of high sided vehicles can be seriously affected by strong winds.
Extreme caution advised if driving high sided vehicles tonight, if possible, give consideration to delaying your journey. #StormBarra pic.twitter.com/GZKpLvUPDl
— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) December 7, 2021
- There are delays of around 10 minutes to DART services. Trains are back running between Dalkey and Dún Laoghaire after a tree came down at Sandycove this morning.
- Irish Rail have had to physically keep level crossing barriers in place at Lansdowne Road to allow trains pass safely in the high winds.
- Rail services are continuing, following earlier disruption in some areas, including in Waterford. Delays have been reported on some services.
— Iarnród Éireann #StaySafe (@IrishRail) December 7, 2021
- All Bus Éireann services in Cork and Kerry are cancelled on Tuesday, while commuter services in Limerick stopped at 4pm Tuesday until 1am on Wednesday.
- Motorists are advised to travel with extreme caution when making essential journeys, with fallen trees likely to be a major risk.
- Wicklow Fire Service reported a "lucky escape" for a motorist at Newcastle this morning.
A lucky escape for a motorist at Newcastle this morning pic.twitter.com/xO23DYl9Gd
— Wicklow Fire Service (@FireWicklow) December 7, 2021
— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) December 7, 2021
- As of 5.55 pm, ESB Networks stated that 38,000 electricity customers are without power across the country.
- Some customers will remain without power overnight.
- The ESB says power outages are mainly due to trees falling on overhead lines.
- Restoration works have been taking place throughout the day with thousands of homes without electricity.
- Customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.powercheck.ie.
- Gas Networks Ireland has said it does not anticipate any disruption to gas supplies.
- Irish Water has issued a number of Boil Water Notices including alerts for areas in Wexford and Kerry.
Following consultation with the HSE, a Boil Water Notice has been issued with immediate effect to protect the health of approximately 11,187 consumers supplied by the Enniscorthy Public Water Supply. For more details, please visit https://t.co/aw3TN1p4en. @wexfordcoco
— Irish Water (@IrishWater) December 7, 2021
- An Post has said regular letter and parcel services, collections and deliveries, will resume on Wednesday in the areas impacted by Tuesday’s Red level storm alert.
- Across the island, mail delivery offices will operate as normal on Wednesday. However, there may still be some localised disruption, particularly in coastal areas.
- All outpatient appointments at UL Hospitals have been cancelled due to worsening weather. This has affected six hospitals including University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, and University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
⚠️Worsening weather means 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗽𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 across our hospitals & 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝘁 #𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗𝟭𝟵 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀 in the Midwest have been cancelled for the rest of today, Tuesday #StormBarra
— UL Hospitals (@ULHospitals) December 7, 2021
- Some vaccination centres in Limerick, Ennis and Nenagh have also had to close for the remainder of Tuesday.
- Covid-19 test centres in Waterford, Clonmel, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford will close early on Tuesday due to the storm.
- Anyone who was scheduled for a Covid test today between 4pm and 7pm is being contacted by the HSE, and offered an earlier appointment today, or an appointment tomorrow.
Coast Guard appeal
- Gerard Flynn of the Irish Coast Guard urged the public not to go for walks or attempt activities such as sea swimming during Storm Barra
- Such recreational activities should be avoided, he said, as if the people got into trouble and the rescue services were called it could prevent them from attending a medical emergency.
- "I would appeal to people to exercise common sense. This is not a day to be out," he told RTÉ radio's Morning Ireland. "I would appeal to people to stay in."
- Meanwhile, Keith Leonard of the National Emergency Coordination Group has said that the defence forces and civil defence are on stand by to assist local authorities and emergency services today in response during Storm Barra.
- Mr Leonard said that planning for Storm Barra was in two phases – the response phase today with the key focus on “life safety issues” and then the recovery phase in the coming days with clean up operations.
- Mr Leonard called on the public to stay at home, to take protective measures for themselves and to keep their mobile phones charged.
— Declan H (@sirdeco) December 7, 2021
-Additional reporting by Vivienne Clarke.