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NDFEM Statement on Preparations for Storm Ellen

Published on Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020
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The National Directorate of Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) Crisis Management Team met again this morning to assess the updated forecast from Met Éireann regarding Storm Ellen, which will track over Ireland on Wednesday night and during Thursday bringing a period of severe and potentially damaging winds.

Local Authority Severe Weather Assessment Teams were advised yesterday to actively monitor Met Éireann and OPW forecasts during this period of unsettled weather and to consider activation of Crisis Management and Local Co-ordination arrangements, where deemed necessary. The NDFEM Crisis Management Team have followed up with calls today to coastal counties advising of potential for coastal flooding and very high winds along exposed coasts. Local authorities are preparing for Storm Ellen, deploying temporary flood defences and putting response staff on standby. Local authorities will be providing public safety advice based on the local conditions.   

Key public safety messages

  1. This is an exceptional storm for August – people should take account of Met Éireann weather warnings affecting their location.
  2. Many people are on holidays at coastal locations. Stay away from all coastal areas for the duration of the Met Éireann warnings.
  3. All road users should be aware of the hazardous traveling conditions. Motorists should slow down and be aware of the dangers of fallen trees and debris. High sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable during this time.
  4. As conditions will vary people need to take account of the local conditions and advice from their local authority.
  5. It is critical that people never ever touch or approach fallen wires,  stay safe and stay clear of fallen or damage electricity wires, and contact the ESB on 1850 372999.

Trees are in full leaf, with the potential for significant numbers of trees to fall blocking roads and damaging power lines. ESB Networks are preparing for significant power outages with staff on standby to repair faults in all areas.

The Irish Coast Guard, An Garda Síochána and local authorities are relaying public safety advice based on the warnings issued by Met Éireann in advance of the arrival of Storm Ellen.

The NDFEM Crisis Management Team will continue to co-ordinate with all local authorities and other response agencies.

Forecast

Today

Very windy or stormy from early on tonight. Rain in southern counties will move northwards as a further spell of persistent and locally heavy rain in the southwestern region will extend northwards, accompanied by strong and gusty southerly winds, reaching gale force at times along southwestern and western coasts. Lowest temperatures of 10 to 14 degrees

Thursday 20  August  

Continuing stormy along western coasts on Thursday morning and afternoon as heavy and thundery showers spread northwards along with some sunny spells. Fresh to strong and gusty southerly winds will strengthen along exposed coasts throughout the day, with gale force winds at times along western coasts. Highest temperatures of 16 to 19 degrees.

Thursday night: continuing very windy. A further spell of wet and windy weather will move into Atlantic coastal counties early in the night, extending across the country overnight with further heavy and possibly thundery bursts. Lowest temperatures of 11 to 14 degrees in fresh to strong and gusty southerly winds with near gale or gale force winds along coasts

Friday 21 August

Remaining windy in many areas. The rain will clear to showers in the southern half of the country during the morning as the rain continues to push northeastwards, clearing Ulster in the afternoon with showery conditions for the rest of the day. Highest temperatures of 17 to 20 degrees. Southerly winds will be fresh to strong and gusty and strong in some coastal areas at first, veering southwesterly during the day and decreasing moderate to fresh but still strong on some coasts

Weather Warnings issued by Met Éireann

Storm Ellen will track over Ireland on Wednesday night and during Thursday bringing a period of severe and potentially damaging winds. Associated heavy rain will also bring a risk of flooding. Due to the combination of storm surge, spring tides and onshore winds there is a potential risk of coastal flooding.

Status Orange - Wind warning for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford: valid 21:00 Wednesday 19 August - 12:00 Thursday 20 August

Status Yellow – Wind warning for all counties: valid 21:00 Wednesday 19 August to 23:59 Thursday 20/08/2020 Issued: 15:00 Tuesday 18/08/2020

Tidal Situation

The OPW advise that there will be a period of very high astronomical Spring Tides approaching Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) in all coastal areas, commencing tomorrow afternoon Wednesday 19 August until Sunday 23 August 2020.  Astronomical tides during this notice period will generally be highest between Thursday 20 and Saturday 22 August. Whilst storm surge levels are currently relatively low in all coastal areas, they are predicted to significantly increase from tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday 19) and Thursday 20 August, in all coastal areas.