The public has been warned to prepare for violent winds, power cuts, and dangerous driving conditions as Storm Lorenzo hits today.
A status yellow wind warning came into effect for the whole country at 9am with a status yellow rainfall warning also coming into effect at the same time for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.
This evening, a status orange wind warning has been issued from 6pm for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick.
The National Emergency Co-ordination Group will meet again this morning for the latest update from Met Éireann and to issue further advice.
Warnings have already come from a number of agencies including gardaí, ESB, and the Coast Guard.
.......southwest, with gales or strong gales and possibly damaging gusts along Atlantic coasts.#stormlorenzo— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 3, 2019
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.
Head of forecasting at Met Éireann, Evelyn Cusack, warned that a combination of strong winds and saturated ground means it is likely trees will come down.
She said some conditions will reach status red levels in coastal areas at times, but will not be widespread.
“We’re not issuing a red warning for the whole country but what I am trying to get across is that even in the yellow areas, there could be trees down, there could be locally dangerous conditions. So people must take the advice of the local authorities, etc and be cognisant,” she said.
If you've ever wanted to know more about storms like #Lorenzo check out Episode 3 of The Met Éireann Podcast. We talk to the National Hurricane Centre in Florida about how these storms develop, what it's like to fly thru one & why they cause so much damagehttps://t.co/ER4DSMK4ZE pic.twitter.com/aSFBOckWCB— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 2, 2019
The Department of Education said the decision to close schools will be made locally.
Gardaí and the Coast Guard called on people to stay safe.
“Never mind putting your own life in danger but you could put the lives of the emergency services at risk just for the sake of a photo opportunity or a weather adventure or weather experience. Again, think of your actions before you make those moves,” said Garda Superintendent Tom Murphy.