LIVE UPDATES: Clare on alert for Storm Brendan

LIVE UPDATES: Clare on alert for Storm Brendan

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Update:

9.30pm – There are no further reports of electricity outages in the county. Power has now been restored to those affected earlier.

The scene at Lahinch this evening as Storm Brendan continued to lash the coastline – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

4.25pm – Several thousand homes and businesses were left without power in Clare this afternoon. The worst affected area was in Tullabrack, Cooraclare where at one point, almost 3,000 customers lost their electricity.

ESB crews were working to restore power last evening however the ESB Powercheck app was unable to provide a restoration time (as of 4.20pm).

Outages in the Clonlara, Tulla and Kilmaley areas were repaired within a few hours.

File Photo: © Pat Flynn

A man was injured after he became trapped beneath a gate that had blown open on top of him during Storm Brendan this morning.

One of the man’s legs became trapped beneath the gate after it knocked him to the ground. The incident happened at the GAA’s Cusack Park grounds in Ennis at around 11.00am.

Fire crews from nearby Ennis station were called to the scene to assist National Ambulance Service paramedics. Fire service personnel had use specialist equipment to help free the man. They deployed a device known as a spreaders to allow them lift the gate off the man’s leg. The man was not seriously hurt and while he was treated at the scene by paramedics, it wasn’t known whether the man was hospitalised.

The GAA in Clare has been requested to comment.

Mobile homes owners along the coast were also prepared for the arrival of Storm Brendan – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

3.15pm – Storm Brendan also affected operations at Shannon Airport today. A number of flights to and from the mid-west airport had to be cancelled because of the high crosswinds. Two other flights were diverted to Cork Airport.

The affected flights included six Aer Lingus services to and from Edinburgh, Birmingham and London. Two Ryanair flights, from Manchester and London Stansted, had to diverted from Shannon to Cork.

Shannon Airport advised passengers on later flights that they should expect delays and to check with their airline.

A council worker clears rocks, seaweed and other debris from a coastal road at Clahane near Liscannor – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

Meanwhile, as the country’s second most popular tourist attraction remained closed today, dozens of people ignored the warnings and braved the over 100km/m winds to view the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.

The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre (CoMVC) was closed to the public because of Storm Brendan but the cliffs continued to attract curious onlookers.

Lahinch taking a pounding during Storm Eleanor in January 2017 – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange weather warning for the entire country including Clare.

The weather service has updated its original alert warning that: “As Storm Brendan tracks to the northwest of Ireland, southerly winds will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80 km/h with gusts generally up to 130 km/h, higher in exposed areas.”

“There is a significant risk of coastal flooding due to the combination of high spring tides and storm surge,” Met Éireann has warned.

The warning, issued at 3.00pm today, will come into effect at 5.00am on Monday and remain in place until 9.00pm (Monday).

File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

Meanwhile, a marine warning has also been issued which will affect the Clare coast.

Met Éireann has said: “Gale force 8 to storm force 10 southerly winds will develop overnight and on Monday morning on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea. Winds will reach violent storm force 11 at times from Mizen Head to Slyne Head to Malin Head.”

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads tomorrow while the weather warning is in place.

The following advice is being given to motorists:

Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.

Beware of objects being blown onto the road. Expect road conditions to change quickly in high winds so reduce your speed.

Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.

Drivers should allow extra space allow between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.

Motorists should also be aware that cyclists may need more road space than normal due to flooding, fallen debris and wind gusts. Give them plenty of space to navigate any obstacles that may be in front of them

Drive with dipped headlights at all times.

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. They may also have trees or braches that have fallen that may not be visible.

Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.

After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes.

Advice to Pedestrians, Cyclists and motorcyclists:

In areas affected by the Orange Warnings pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists should consider delaying or cancelling any planned trip

In other areas they should keep safe by making sure you can be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.

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.

Walk on a footpath, where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas.

Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.

Cyclist 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 such as bright and light reflective items.

For advice on severe weather driving tips, please see severe weather advice on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.

For more weather updates, visit Met Eireann’s website.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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