Coastal areas braced as winds set to lash west

Met Éireann issued a national weather alert last night, warning of very strong winds, driving rain and the possibility of floods.

Heavy wind and rain is forecast across the country today while residents in counties Clare, Cork, Galway and Dublin are preparing flood defences in anticipation of high tides.

A combination of high seas and unusually high tides are expected to combine to put areas along the Atlantic coast under threat of flooding.

In Galway the City Council spent much of yesterday distributing additional sandbags to businesses under threat and an electronic warning notice was flashing at a carpark at Salthill promenade, which is prone to flooding.

Senior engineer with Clare County Council Tom Tiernan said that coastal and low lying areas were at risk. “Our concerns relate to both coastal and inland scenarios,” he said.

“The situation would appear to us that’s evolving over the next few days, in many ways, has similar characteristics to the severe weather situation which arose at the beginning of the month which caused so much devastation around the coast.”

In Cork, low-lying areas of the city, including parts of Oliver Plunkett St, appeared to be under threat last night but no major incidents were reported.

The city has been hit by four serious floods since 2009, each of which caused widespread damage.

Fearing tidal surges, business owners put out sandbags and erected metal barriers outside their premises to halt the flow of rising waters from the south channel of the River Lee.

Flooding on Wandesford Quay and Fr Mathew Quay receded without any reports of damage to premises.

Winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour are due to hit Munster, Connacht and Ulster and are expected to last through the weekend.

Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy said: “Saturday will see a return to very windy conditions with gusts as high as 100km per hour.

“Tides will be quite high, and waves will be quite high so there will be the possibility of some flooding in coastal areas,” he said.


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