Ireland braces itself for impending arrival of Storm Callum
A national emergency coordination group met on Thursday for a briefing on the oncoming Storm Callum which could pose a “risk to life and property”, according to forecasters.
Evelyn Cusack from Met Eireann briefed the group on expected weather and warnings in place until Friday afternoon.
The group, made up of state agencies including the Office of Public Works, Met Eireann, the Department of Defence, the Garda, the Defence Forces and the Coast Guard met to co-ordinate the State’s response to the storm.
Met Eireann issued Status Orange weather warnings for 13 counties, with high winds coinciding with high tides on Thursday evening.
The warning, forecast from 10pm on Thursday and covers Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Kerry, Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Cork and Waterford.
Winds are estimated to reach speeds of between 110km/h and 130km/h.
Crisis management teams and severe weather alert teams from a number of local authorities across the country were deployed on Thursday afternoon.
Galway City Council installed a 80m portable dam at Spanish Arch and flood gates at various points around Salthill, while 5,000 sandbags were made available for the public.
Likewise in Dublin, council crews distributed sandbags on Thursday to areas along the coast where flooding might occur including Howth and Malahide.
The northwest is expected to be most affected and the warning it to remain in place until midday on Friday.
A Status Yellow warning has been issued for the rest of the country, with winds forecast of up to 110km/h.
There are major risks of coastal flooding in western counties and strong winds could lead to further disruption in Atlantic coastal areas.
Waterways Ireland has issued a warning to boat owners and members of the public as the storm approaches.
They are urging people to be aware of the dangers associated with harbours, jetties and moorings during stormy weather.
The Coast Guard has strongly advised the public to stay away from exposed beaches, piers, harbour walls and promenades along the coast.
A separate area of low pressure could bring heavy rainfall to the east at the weekend.
The Road Safety Authority has urged road users to exercise caution to expect the unexpected and watch out for debris.
It has also advised pedestrians and cyclists to wear bright clothing and take care during the windy conditions.
Met Eireann says the unsettled weather could continue early into next week.