21 January 2024
By Tom Collins
Red Wind Warnings for Galway, Mayo and Donegal – Orange Wind Warnings for the rest of the country
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) called a National Emergency Coordination Group meeting today (Sunday 21 January 2024) with Met Éireann, the OPW, the local authorities, principal response agencies, key Departments and responding national organisations to prepare for Storm Isha which is expected to impact Ireland, particularly the west coast, from 5.00pm this evening and into the early hours of Monday (22nd January).
Met Éireann advised that a Status Red Wind Warning has been issued for Galway and Mayo from 5.00pm to 9.00pm this evening and also for Donegal between 9.00pm this evening and 1.00am tomorrow morning. This storm will bring with it severe and damaging gusts, potential coastal flooding with high waves and coastal overtopping, treacherous travelling conditions, the potential for localised flooding and the risk of significant and widespread power outages for these counties.
Status Orange Wind Warnings have been issued for the entire country from 4.00pm today until 2.00am tomorrow morning, again with the potential for large waves in coastal areas (with wave overtopping), high winds, potential for localised flooding, very difficult travelling conditions, fallen trees and damage to power lines.
The latest Met Éireann forecasts and warnings are available at the following links:
Speaking after the meeting, Paul Rock, Senior Assistant Fire Adviser in the NDFEM advised the public:
“Given the challenging wind conditions expected, I would urge members of the public to stay away from all coastal areas for the duration of the Met Éireann warnings.
“Travel in counties under a red warning is not advised until the alert has finished. Furthermore, all road users should only travel where necessary and be aware of the potential for hazardous travelling conditions. Motorists should slow down and be aware of the dangers of fallen trees and debris. High sided vehicles, cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable during this time.
“Everybody is encouraged to keep mobile phones charged and at hand in case of emergencies and to check for updates where necessary.
“We will continue to monitor the ongoing weather conditions and ensure that all relevant state bodies are responding speedily and appropriately to meet any challenges. I would advise everybody to monitor national and local media, including social media, over the course of this evening and tomorrow to keep up to date with information regarding the developing weather situation.
“Above all, make sure you stay safe and keep in touch with vulnerable or elderly neighbours.”
Customers can check estimated restoration times or report an outage on Powercheck.ie. Safety of public and crews is critical. ESB Networks will be making safe any faults which occur throughout the day and restoring supply remotely and on site when safe to do so.
Local Authorities, who are the lead agency for the response to severe weather events on the ground, have activated their Crisis Management Teams and Local Coordination Groups and have been meeting and co-ordinating preparation for the arrival of Storm Isha – including readiness for restoring road networks following any weather disruption.
The Department of Transport is engaging with agencies and operators in preparation for any disruption to transport services and has initiated its severe weather protocol. The public are encouraged to use the relevant public transport provider websites to check for any disruption to services at local level.
Summary of advice
- Stay away from all coastal areas for the duration of the Met Éireann warnings.
- All road users should be aware of the potential for hazardous travelling conditions. Motorists should slow down and be aware of the dangers of fallen trees and debris. High sided vehicles, cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable during this time.
- It is critical that people never ever touch or approach fallen wires. Stay safe and stay clear of fallen or damaged electricity wires, and contact ESB Networks at 1800 372 999. Use the PowerCheck App to check for reconnection times.
- Check transport websites for updates.
- Check in on vulnerable neighbours.
- Keep your mobile phone charged.
The NDFEM Crisis Management Team continue to monitor Storm Isha developments, liaising with Local Authority Severe Weather Assessment Teams and Crisis Management Teams who are actively monitoring the evolution of the storm.