Farmers and the public are being warned not to take any chances if conditions moderate as the eye of Storm Barra passes over Ireland.
The slow-moving weather system has, so far, caused power outages, flooding and debris on many roads, with the southwest of the country being particularly badly hit.
🔴#StormBarra is traveling across the country with severe & damaging wind gusts accompanied by heavy rain
🏠 Please #StayHome and indoors for the duration of the warning
Contact us to report fallen trees, flooding or road damage on 📞021 4276891 or ⚠️Out of Hours on 021 4800048 pic.twitter.com/gcomCu1VGy— Cork County Council (@Corkcoco) December 7, 2021
ESB Networks said that almost 60,000 electricity customers, including farms, homes and businesses, were without power, as of 9:45a.m today (December 7).
There are reports of fallen electricity poles and wires in many areas.
ESB Networks said “all internal resources are on alert and will be deployed to respond to all electricity outages, once it is safe to do so”.
Heavy flooding has resulted in some roads becoming impassable.
Flooding on the approach to the Suspension Bridge in Kenmare (N71 road). Road is impassable #StormBarra #Kerry @radiokerrynews @NuachtBnG @jerosullivanRK @HalloranCathy @Kenews @anewshack pic.twitter.com/O9PsZAUypo— Kerry County Council – Comhairle Contae Chiarraí (@countykerry) December 7, 2021
Met Éireann has said that Storm Barra poses “a threat to life”.
Storm Barra warnings
The national forecaster said that Cork and Kerry will remain under a Status Red wind alert until 9:00 tonight.
Southwesterly winds later veering northwesterly will reach mean speeds in excess of 80km/h with severe or damaging gusts in excess of 130km/h.
A Status Red wind warning comes into effect in Clare from 4:00p.m today until 1:00a.m on Wednesday (December 8).
Northwesterly winds will reach mean speeds in excess of 80km/h with severe or damaging gusts in excess of 130km/h.
Once the Status Red warning ceases, a Status Orange wind warning will apply to Cork, Clare and Kerry until 6:00a.m on Wednesday (December 8).
This warning also applies to Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo and Wexford until 6:00a.m on Wednesday (December 8).
Southeasterly winds, later veering northwesterly, will reach mean speeds of 65-80km/h with severe or damaging gusts of 100-130km/h, with localised stronger winds likely and severe gusts on coasts.
A Status Orange wind warning is in place for Dublin, Louth, Wicklow and east Meath until 1:00p.m today (Tuesday, December 7).
Southeasterly winds will reach mean speeds of 65-80km/h with severe or damaging gusts of 100-130km/h, with localised stronger winds likely.
In Leitrim and Sligo, a Status Orange wind warning comes into force from 8:00 tonight until 8:00a.m tomorrow (Wednesday, December 8).
Northwesterly winds will reach mean speeds of 65-80km/h with severe or damaging gusts of 100-130km/h, and localised stronger winds likely.
Met Éireann said that due to a combination of high waves, storm surge and high tide, coastal flooding is expected. The forecaster said disruption to power and travel are also likely.
‘Nobody should be out’
Kerry County Council said it expects conditions in the county to worsen this afternoon, as Storm Barra tracks across Ireland.
Owen O’Shea, media, communications and customer relations officer with the council, told Agriland that it is anticipated that the storm will intensify significantly in the mid to late afternoon.
“The conditions being experienced are horrendous. Nobody should be out at all,” O’Shea warned.
Kerry County Council is advising farmers and members of the public not to take any chances if conditions moderate for a time as the eye of Storm Barra crosses the country.
The council said people should not have “a false sense of security” during that time, but instead remain indoors until the weather warnings have been lifted by Met Éireann.
ESB Networks is reminding customers of the precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut:
- Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks at: 1800 372 999, and listen to recorded messages carefully;
- Turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost;
- Leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored;
- Take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames;
- Test smoke alarms with fresh batteries;
- Ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.