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Orange rainfall and yellow wind warnings in place for Cork

August 24th, 2020 5:20 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

A steel grate being added to a culvert after floods last week affected some 15 businesses in Skibbereen. It's hoped tonight's heavy rainfall won't result in a repeat of last week's flooding. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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CORK County Council has said this evening that it is prepared with response crews and contractors on standby for the approaching Storm Francis, in advance of further wet and stormy weather forecast for Cork overnight and tomorrow Tuesday.

Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange Rainfall Warning for Cork, valid from 9pm tonight until 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday) with intense rainfall associated with Storm Francis expected at times Monday night and Tuesday, leading to accumulations of 40 to 60mm (higher values in mountainous areas).

The most intense rainfall is expected to ease off in southern counties during Tuesday morning. Some flash flooding likely. This rainfall will further elevate river levels and may result in river flooding also.

Met Éireann has also issued a Status Yellow Wind Warning for Cork, valid from 6am to 7pm on Tuesday 25th August. Very windy or stormy conditions are expected on Tuesday as Storm Francis crosses Ireland. Southwest winds veering westerly, reaching mean speeds of 55 to 65km/h, will bring widespread severe gusts of 90 to 110km/h (and possibly higher in exposed areas). Some disruption is likely and possibly structural damage.

A Status Yellow Gale Warning is also in place with gale or strong gale force southeast to east winds veering southwest to west overnight on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea, with northerly gales or strong gales tomorrow morning on western coasts.

Cork County Council's Severe Weather Assessment and Crisis Management Teams have convened this afternoon in response to these weather warnings and have reviewed preparations. Council response crews and contractors have been put on notice and are on standby.

Council crews have also been working to remove debris from grates and culverts, following the recent period of adverse weather, which resulted in large amounts of debris being washed into shores and grates. Additional precautions remain in place at Rossa Road, Skibbereen due to works in progress, while crews also remain on standby in other areas affected by flood events.

Cork County Council expects the impact to include fallen trees and flash flooding, particularly given current ground saturation levels, as well as possible structural damage from high winds.

Members of the public are advised to stay high, stay dry and stay away from the coast, rivers and lakes.  With strong gusts and high waves predicted, people are urged to refrain from visiting coastal areas.

Property owners, residents and visitors are advised to take necessary precautions for this dangerous weather event, to protect property, to avoid unnecessary journeys and stay indoors during the warning periods.

Following recent weather events, trees have been weakened and remain susceptible to further damage. Landowners are asked to examine trees within their property for damage.

Those camping or in caravans are asked to seek alternative accommodation indoors, as temporary structures are particularly at risk. Extra precaution should be taken to secure caravans, camping equipment and any other loose items.

Cork County Council advises road users to be aware of the danger posed by high winds. Driving conditions may be hazardous with surface flooding possible.  Motorists are advised to drive with caution during heavy rain, not to drive through flood waters and be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians.

Dursey Cable Car will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday) and will return to operation only when wind speeds permit. Updates will be available on @CorkCoCo social media.

Issues such as fallen trees, flooding and road damage should be reported to the relevant local area office during working hours or contact the Council’s Emergency Out of Hours number (021) 4800048 (5pm-9am & weekends & bank holidays). Contact details for the Council’s Area Offices are available at www.corkcoco.ie or by contacting Cork County Council Headquarters on (021) 4276891.

The strong winds may give rise to localised power outages. In the event of a disruption to power supply, please contact ESB Networks at 1850 372999. Fallen or grounded wires should be avoided and the public are advised to call ESB in assisting with the identification of fallen wires.

In the event of a disruption to water supply, please contact Irish Water at 1850 278278.

In the event of an emergency call 999 or 112 and request the Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Gardaí or Irish Coastguard as appropriate. DO NOT assume others will do this.

Cork County Council is urging people to pay particular attention to the following:

At Home – Before the Storm

  • Tie down loose items outside that cannot be brought in.
  • Have a torch, spare batteries and a battery radio ready
  • Stay indoors –and keep pets in.
  • Clear windowsills and close curtains to protect against flying glass.
  • If gas, electricity or water supplies are cut off, contact if possible the relevant services.
  • Keep in contact with family and neighbours especially people living alone.

At Home – After the Storm

  • As soon as it is safe, rope off or protect damaged areas to prevent injury from falling masonry, roof tiles or broken glass

Cork County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team and Crisis Management Team will reconvene again tomorrow morning. Cork County Council will continue to monitor this situation. Weather updates are available at www.met.ie. Cork County Council will provide updates on www.corkcoco.ie and on the Council’s social media channels @C

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