Storm Barra: National Emergency Group gives update on 'major disruption'

Storm Barra: National Emergency Group gives update on 'major disruption'

A giant wave crashing over Fenit Pier on the outskirts of Tralee today. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Storm Barra has already caused major disruption including a “significant coastal flooding event” in Bantry, the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) has said.

At a press briefing, officials said the worst is already over for some areas - such as the risk of flooding in Cork city - but the risk is still high for many others, with the Status Red warning set to take effect in Clare this afternoon.

The ESB, meanwhile, said that around 59,000 customers had been affected by power outages due to the storm.

Claire Quane, from ESB Networks, said a significant outage affecting over 10,000 customers had been reported in Donegal but work has taken place to restore much of that already. Parts of Cork and Kerry are also among the worst affected.

Diversion signs in Bantry which saw 23 business premises affected by the flooding today. 
Diversion signs in Bantry which saw 23 business premises affected by the flooding today. 

“It’s a busy day today,” she said. “This is a dynamic situation. This storm isn’t over yet. It’s in line with other winter storms that we’ve had, but as I say it’s not over yet.” 

The HSE, meanwhile, said that it currently plans to have most of its services that had to be cancelled today back up and running tomorrow. This includes vaccine centres and testing centres in Cork.

Tom McGuinness said where temporary structures had been erected, a risk assessment last night recommended that these structures should be taken down.

Mr McGuinness said: “Now there will be a rebuild when it's safe for personnel to go back in and that rebuild will have to take place tomorrow following the completion of the weather warnings.” 

The Fire Brigade dealt with a fallen tree on the N71 between Skibbereen and Leap. Photo: Andrew Harris
The Fire Brigade dealt with a fallen tree on the N71 between Skibbereen and Leap. Photo: Andrew Harris

He said this may mean a slight disruption to services tomorrow morning, but that the HSE would provide further updates.

Regarding schools, an update on whether they should be advised to remain closed tomorrow will be issued this evening.

Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack said that there will be a risk of flooding in the north-east in the next few hours.

She said the storm centre is currently around 50 miles west of Clifden, but will move through the country in the afternoon and evening, bringing “renewed storm-force north-to-northwesterly winds”.

A man walks on the beach at Ballydowane in Waterford as storm Barra bears down on. Photo: Damien Storan
A man walks on the beach at Ballydowane in Waterford as storm Barra bears down on. Photo: Damien Storan

“As the storm tracks in across Ireland, there’ll be a core of very slack winds associated with the eye of the storm and this core of slack winds will be in several counties,” she said.

“The winds will in fact drop down to near calm but as the centre [of the storm] moves eastwards, we’re going to get very strong northwesterly winds.

“So the worst is over for some areas but not for the whole country at all.” Further rain today and tomorrow could affect parts of the southwest and lead to rivers flooding, the meeting also heard.

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