The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution today (Tuesday, January 23) as Storm Jocelyn is set to bring severe and damaging gusts.
Met Éireann has issued Status Orange and Yellow weather warnings for very strong west to southwesterly winds.
A Status Orange wind warning for Galway and Mayo will come into force from 5:00p.m today and remain in place until midnight. A similar warning for Donegal will be valid from 6:00p.m today until 2:00a.m on Wednesday.
The strong winds will lead to large coastal waves, very difficult travelling conditions, fallen trees, damage to power lines and damage to already weakened structures.
A Status Yellow wind warning currently in place for Clare, Kerry, Galway and Mayo will remain in place until 2:00a.m on Wednesday.
Another Status Yellow wind warning for Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo will run from midday to 5:00a.m tomorrow, while a similar warning for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford and Roscommon will be valid from 2:00p.m today until 2:00a.m on Wednesday.
The RSA urged road users in areas affected by the Orange Warning to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey.
The authority offered the following advice to motorists on foot of the weather warnings:
- Slow down and allow a greater braking distance between you and the vehicle in front in wet weather conditions. This is especially important on high-speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways where there is increased danger of aquaplaning;
- Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles, as they generate a considerable amount of spray, which reduces your visibility;
- If the road ahead is flooded, choose another route. Do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think;
- Follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic that have been put there by the local council or An Garda Síochána;
- After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes;
- Drive with dipped headlights at all times to ensure that you are visible and that you can see other road users;
- Beware of objects being blown out onto the road;
- Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High-sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong wind;
- Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users such as people cycling and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
The RSA also urged pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists to take extra care in the current conditions:
- Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths;
- People cycling should ensure that they and their bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back) and by wearing clothes that help you be seen on your bike. Consider wearing high visibility material;
- Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions, as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Meanwhile, the ESB is still working to restore power to tens of thousands of customers following Storm Isha at the weekend.
Around 178,000 customers have had their power restored since yesterday morning when ESB crews mobilised nationwide.
It is understood that the areas where customers remain without supply are predominantly in the northwest of the country, including counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.
ESB said that anyone who comes across fallen wires or damaged electricity infrastructure should never touch or approach them, as they may be live and extremely dangerous.