Storm Lorenzo: Met Eireann outlines counties that will have 'coastal damage' from the storm

Storm Lorenzo: Met Eireann outlines counties that will have 'coastal damage' from the storm
High seas smash into Roonagh Pier as Lorenzo approaches Pic: Paul Mealey

  • A status yellow wind warning is in effect for the entire country until 6pm;
  • A status yellow rainfall warning is in place for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal until 6am tomorrow morning;
  • A status yellow wind warning has been issued for Sligo and Leitrim from 6pm until 6am tomorrow;
  • A status orange wind warning will take effect in Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick at 6pm until 6am tomorrow;
  • The storm is expected to make landfall around north Mayo late this evening.

Latest: The west coast is now under a status orange wind warning.

Storm Lorenzo is to cause the most havoc in counties Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick with property-damaging winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour expected.

Meanwhile, Met Eireann has revised its yellow wind warning, which is now due to affect Sligo and Leitrim.

A yellow rain warning remains in place for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

Head of Forecasting at Met Eireann, Evelyn Cusack said the combination of strong winds and highs seas will cause problems in the west.

Ms Cusack said: "Westerly Gale 8 to Storm Force 10 winds will pile the seas onto the west coast. You've got pretty high seas anyway, this is why Met Eireann are warning of coastal damage or coastal impacts.

"North Kerry up to Clare, Galway and Mayo coastal areas will have impacts."

Meanwhile, the Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation during Storm Lorenzo.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather Severn class lifeboat at 9.51am today to transport a lady on Inis Meain who was injured after a fall.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were described as rough with a 3.5m swell rising, and a south easterly force 8 wind blowing.

The lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal harbour where the lady was handed over to an ambulance crew and taken to hospital.

Earlier: Storm Lorenzo: Coast guard publish footage of people 'walking through breaking waves'

Homeless charities across the country are encouraging people who are sleeping rough to seek shelter as Storm Lorenzo approaches.

The Peter McVerry Trust has made 50 emergency beds available in Dublin tonight. Its CEO Pat Doyle said the impacts could be severe for the homeless.

Mr Doyle said: "There's no coat or hat in the world that will stop the wind from pushing he water in on top of people, so a lot of our homeless people, particularly the ones on the streets, they have a long time on the streets so their health has been deteriorating.

"A soaking through like this could exacerbate those issues. We need to get people in."

Also, the Coast guard have tweeted footage of people in Howth 'walking through breaking waves'.

Meanwhile, the Killarney National Park has closed to the public this afternoon and a number of events have been cancelled in Killarney and other towns in Kerry because of the advancing storm.

Vehicular traffic to Muckross House, the southwest’s most visited tourist attraction, was restricted from 3pm with gates closing altogether at 4pm.

Mayo County Council has warned of the possibility of road closures this evening.

They said several ‘at risk’ roads include parts of the N59 while the R313 between Belmullet and Blacksod could be closed for periods this evening.

Cork County Council have warned that driving conditions will be hazardous and all motorists need to take care and be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians.

Earlier: Storm Lorenzo 'may pose a threat to life and safety', says Murphy

Storm Lorenzo may pose a threat to life and safety in some parts of the country, the National Emergency Coordination Group has warned.

Big waves crash over the pier in Schull this morning. Picture: Andy Gibson
Big waves crash over the pier in Schull this morning. Picture: Andy Gibson

There are currently two yellow warnings in place - a wind warning for the entire country and a rainfall warning for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

Winds are set to peak across the north and south-west between 6pm and 7pm this evening and 3am and 5am tomorrow morning with rainfall accumulations of between 20 and 60 millimetres expected.

An orange weather warning for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick has been extended from 6pm this evening to 6am tomorrow morning.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy says people in these counties should take particular care.

"Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Mayo and Clare are still under orange and that warning has been extended in time," said Minister Murphy.

"A status orange is a serious condition, it may pose a threat to life and safety.

"All of the country will experience this storm but the affects will be different in different parts of the country.

"Our primary concern since Tuesday and what remains our primary concern is the north and north-west coasts."

Met Éireann's Head of Forecasting Evelyn Cusack outlined the path of Storm Lorenzo.

"It's going to track right across down over Ireland, it is going to enter in to the north-west of Mayo/Donegal and then move down and exit from Wicklow across to the south Irish Sea," said Ms Cusack.

"As it begins to move in over Ireland it is going to rapidly decrease in intensity."

Up to eight boats were destroyed in Howth, Co Dublin, and Bray Harbour, Co Wicklow, in the build-up to the storm.

The boats broke free from their moorings due to the severe weather conditions.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has advised the a number of national parks and nature reserves will be closed this afternoon from 4pm and will remain closed until further notice.

The affected locations are: Connemara National Park, Co Galway; Knockma Wood, near Tuam, Co Galway; Derryclare Nature Reserve, Co Galway; Wild Nephin, Ballycroy National Park, Co Mayo; Old Head Nature Reserve, Co Mayo; Laughil Wood, near Pontoon, Co Mayo; Dromore Woods Nature Reserve, Co Clare; Killarney House and Gardens, Co Kerry; Killarney National Park, Co Kerry; Coole/Garryland Nature Reserve, Co Galway; and Glengarriff Nature Reserve, Co Cork.

The NPWS has asked the public for their ongoing cooperation on this matter by not entering these sites for the duration of these weather warnings.

Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) has implemented its emergency plan as Storm Lorenzo approaches the capital.

CEO Anthony Flynn said that teams are out on the streets with extra supplies on board checking on the welfare of those that are out on the streets all day.

"We have grave concerns for people that are on the streets during this extreme weather incident so will be checking on people a number of times during today and tomorrow," said Mr Flynn.

"We would ask anyone that sees anyone in need of assistance today to please call the ICHH offices on 01-8881804. We need to look after each other as the bad weather approaches so making a call to us is a big help so we can check on people’s welfare."

Meanwhile, a seal and her pup have been spotted sheltering on Bray beach.

Gardaí have warned people to keep dogs on leads and not to approach the pair, as seals have been known to abandon their young if they pick up a human scent on their pup.

Emergency beds made available for homeless as storm looms

Pedestrians in Cork City as Storm Lorenzo hits. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Pedestrians in Cork City as Storm Lorenzo hits. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Update 12.30pm: 50 emergency beds have been made available in the Dublin region by Peter McVerry Trust (PMVT) as part of its extreme weather protocols ahead of the arrival of Storm Lorenzo.

The charity has said that it has been working closely with Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) and has been in ongoing contact with local authorities in Kildare and Meath.

The national homeless and housing charity will also ensure that transport supports are made available to anyone in need for the duration of the storm.

The charity's existing supported temporary accommodation services in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Louth are putting measures in place to deal with possible power and water outages caused by the storm.

PMVT Housing with Supports Team in Limerick is contacting and visiting all tenants today to ensure that they are aware of the weather alerts.

"We have been liaising with the DRHE and local authorities since Storm Lorenzo was first flagged by Met Éireann," said Pat Doyle, CEO of PMVT.

"We have been working since the weekend to advance our state of preparedness for the storm, with our teams in Dublin as well as in the Mid East and Mid-West regions mobilising to support those in our services and in our housing.

"We have taken a number of steps to ensure we can support additional people who may be at risk of sleeping rough.

"We have made 50 beds available in the Dublin region and these will be reviewed on Monday with the DRHE.

"We have put an additional Housing First team out in Dublin that will be engaging with people sleeping rough in Dublin to make them aware of the weather conditions and encourage them into shelter.”

Meanwhile, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has urged workers to pay particular attention to the risk posed by fallen trees as Storm Lorenzo passes.

With winds of up to 120kph forecast, the HSA is warning that dangers linger long after an extreme weather event has passed - especially for those using chainsaws.

Many workers particularly those involved in storm repair, construction, farming and transportation will be facing increased hazards.

Anyone planning on using a chainsaw to cut down fallen trees is urged to leave it to experts after two people lost their lives during Storm Ophelia while cutting and clearing windblown trees.

Storm Lorenzo: Met Eireann outlines counties that will have 'coastal damage' from the storm

"Many owners of chainsaws only use them occasionally and may lack the training, experience and knowledge required for certain tasks," said HSA assistant chief executive Mark Cullen.

"As most trees are still in full leaf, there is a high risk that there will be a significant number of fallen trees and branches as a result of the high winds.

"Windblown trees are particularly dangerous and unpredictable and should only be dealt with by competent and experienced chainsaw operators."

Anyone who encounters fallen trees should not try to clear or fell such trees.

Instead they are advised to contact their local authority who have expert trained crews with specialist equipment to deal with them.

'Extra tropical storm' due to make landfall late this evening

Pedestrians in Cork City as Storm Lorenzo hits. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Pedestrians in Cork City as Storm Lorenzo hits. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Update 11.10am: Emeritus Professor of Geography at Maynooth University John Sweeney has advised the public to heed weather warnings and that Storm Lorenzo will bring treacherous conditions.

"The tropical storm is following the same trajectory as Storm Ophelia two years ago and it will be one that "people will remember," he told RTÉ radio's Morning Ireland.

The message is to be careful about going near the coast and to take care on the roads, he said.

"I think we are looking at an event tonight, which will be a national event, it will be an event that people will remember.

The hurricane is now of course no longer a hurricane but an extra tropical storm, but it's a very deep one and it will make landfall somewhere around north Mayo around late this evening.

“It will dissipate as it moves east across Ireland and the UK but it will bring quite dangerous conditions especially across the west coast over the next 12 hours."

Ireland will have to be prepared for these kind of events as they become more common, he added.

"As we go through global climate change and as the Atlantic warms up and as these hurricanes formerly headed off into the Caribbean and into the eastern seaboard of the United States, they now begin to find warmer waters to the east of the Atlantic and their trajectory towards Europe is likely to become more common."

Storm Lorenzo will be 'a different beast' to Ophelia

Update 9.50am: A status yellow wind warning has come into effect for the entire country and will remain until 6pm.

Met Éireann has also issued a status yellow rainfall warning for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

It came into effect at 9am and will remain in place until 6am tomorrow morning.

A status orange wind warning will take effect in Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick at 6pm this evening and will run until 3am tomorrow.

Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack has advised the public to be prepared for some wet and windy weather, with a risk of some fallen trees and coastal flooding and perhaps some damage along the west coast.

“We still have orange warnings for five counties - we have taken Cork out of the orange for the wind.

"The storm is approaching, the pressure is falling rapidly. It looks as if it won't be as bad as it could be given its tropical origin.

“But we still expect significant winds on the west coast with a risk of some coastal flooding and damage, very high waves coinciding with low pressure and also high tides,” she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

“That's from Mayo to North Kerry. Further inland winds won’t be as strong.

"There will be gusting later this morning from 90-100 kms per hour, from a south easterly direction.

"Later on as the storm centre moves in from the north west, the winds veering round to a westerly direction then picking up again in more western areas.

As the ground is saturated, the ground is very wet so the trees are in full leaf, and that's why we're giving more impacts from this level of winds than if the storm were happening in January.

“There is certainly a high risk of trees down.”

Ms Cusack added that it now looks like there won't be too much rain in Munster, “so we've taken Munster out of the yellow rainfall warning, but for the rest of the country there will be some spells of heavy rain, moving across the country from this morning.

"Between now and 6am tomorrow morning there is a risk of some localised flooding. The rain will be more sporadic.”

She added that for the east coast the south easterly gale this afternoon could produce a little overtopping.

Storm Lorenzo “is a different beast from Ophelia,” she said.

“Of course every storm is different, both were hurricanes.

"Lorenzo lost its hurricane status 1,000kms from the south west of Ireland yesterday afternoon, while Ophelia remained a hurricane very close to Ireland, within 500kms.”

A yellow weather warning is in place for Northern Ireland between 3pm and 10pm as gusts could reach up to 60mph in coastal areas.

The Met Office said wind and rain will begin to develop over Northern Ireland this afternoon.

Local Government Minister Eoghan Murphy has warned that Lorenzo will not be “one homogenous weather event” and that the public needs to pay attention to local conditions and act accordingly.

“This is a national event in terms of being a wind and rain status yellow, and six counties on the west coast are under a status orange,” he said.

“This is where our primary concern is in terms of wave surges and coastal flooding. But the wind and rain across the country will have unpredictable impacts in terms of flooding being likely, power outages being likely, and also thunderstorms.

“In terms of public safety in coastal areas and exposed piers and the orange areas, we’re asking people to stay back, stay high, and stay dry and to avoid coastal roads during the orange period.

“There may be power outages in parts of the country. So we’re asking people to check with their neighbours and the elderly if they can, to make sure that they have things like batteries in their torches, phone chargers in their cars, and their Eircode to hand as well in case of an emergency,” he said.

Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, at a press briefing at the Department of Agriculture, Dublin, following a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination group concerning Storm Lorenzo. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, at a press briefing at the Department of Agriculture, Dublin, following a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination group concerning Storm Lorenzo. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

Meanwhile, passengers who are due to travel today by air or ferry are being reminded that if there are any disruptions they have rights under EU legislation and are advised to liaise with the airline or ferry operator.

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) is urging people to check the status of their journey and keep communicating with the travel operator to avail of their rights.

These rights may include a choice between re-routing and refund, and in some cases, care and assistance such as meals and refreshments.

However, extra monetary compensation would not be payable for disruption caused by extraordinary circumstances.

ECC Ireland spokesperson, Martina Nee, said: "When a flight or ferry crossing is delayed or cancelled, the carrier is obligated to provide with certain assistance to disrupted passengers.

"This includes a choice between rerouting or refund. If your travel plans have been affected, it is very important to liaise (in writing, if possible) with the carrier to make alternative arrangements or get reimbursement.

"If you incur extra expenses, make sure to keep receipts to claim this back later.

"In cases where the disruption occurred because of extraordinary circumstances, such as a storm, and it can be proven that the disruption could not be avoided even if all reasonable measures were taken, then extra monetary compensation would not be payable to the affected passenger."

Further information about your passenger rights is available on flightrights.ie, nationaltransport.ie and eccireland.ie.

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