5,000 lose power as storms batter coast

Batten down the hatches — that was the advice last night as Met Éireann and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) issued weather alerts, warning motorists and those living in coastal areas to take extra precautions.

Up to 5,000 homes were left without power as Met Éireann warned of gusts of up to 130km/h in Cork, Kerry, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, and Sligo. A second warning of gusts of up to 115km/h covered Leinster and Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Cavan, Roscommon, and Monaghan.

Winds reaching storm force 10 at times were reported in Co Donegal.

The RSA advised pedestrians to take care when near traffic or crossing roads, and to be aware that a sudden gust of wind could blow them into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

AA Roadwatch said high-sided vehicles were particularly vulnerable on open or exposed roads.

The RSA urged motorists to allow extra space between their vehicles and cyclists or motorcyclists and advised people to check on older relatives and neighbours, and to avoid making trips during stormy conditions.

Motorists were also urged to be alert for fallen trees and debris on roads.

The Department of Transport advised people to keep away from cliffs, piers, and any other coastal areas.

Irish Ferries services were disrupted as a result of the weather, with the Rosslare to Pembroke ferry being cancelled for today.

The outlook for the coming weekend is cold, windy, and showery tonight with some wintry showers in parts of the North and North-West.

Strong westerly winds are forecast with some severe gusts in parts of Ulster and Connacht. There is a risk of sleet and wet snow for a time today with possible overnight frost in sheltered areas.

The rest of the weekend, is to remain cold, wet, and windy with strong southerly winds turning milder.

Meanwhile, the Automobile Association reported there has been 24 fewer deaths on Irish roads in 2012 compared to this time last year. Pedestrian deaths have also fallen with 15 fewer compared to this date last year.


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