Ireland
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Storm Agnes: Thousands without power, roads flooded and roof blown off as Cork hit by weather

  • Storm Agnes made landfall earlier this morning with thousands of homes in Co Cork now without power, and a number of flights out of Cork Airport have been cancelled. A gust of 111km/h has been recorded at Sherkin Island. The roof has been blown off a building in Youghal, Co Cork.
  • Weather warning: The status orange wind warning came into force at 9am in Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Carlow, with an orange level rain warning for Cork, Kerry and Waterford. The updated warning was issued at 9pm on Tuesday night.
  • A status yellow rain warning has been issued for several counties across Munster and Leinster, specifically Carlow, Dublin, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow. Heavy rain is forecast under the warning between 7am and midnight.
  • Met Éireann has forecast that Storm Agnes will track northeastward across Ireland. It will be wet and very windy with strong to gale-force winds. Strong onshore winds and high seas will bring the risk of coastal flooding on eastern and southern coasts. The south and east will get the worse of the wind and rain.

Thousands of homes in Co Cork are without power today arising out of the arrival of Storm Agnes, writes Olivia Kelleher.

1700 householders in Bandon are impacted with a further 1500 without power in Macroom. 1400 homes are without power in Cloonlough in Mitchelstown whilst 600 properties are impacted in Kanturk. Homes in Rosscarbery, Ballincollig, Beal na mBlath, Mallow, Ballyvourney and Whitechurch have also been affected. Customers can check for estimated restoration times at powercheck.ie

ESB Networks has apologised to customers who have been inconvenienced by the power cuts. Power is expected to come back on line from lunchtime today with most due to be restored by the mid afternoon.

Meanwhile, high winds have led to the cancellation of a number of flights in to Cork airport. Passengers intending to travel today are advised to exercise due vigilance when travelling to the airport arising out of the poor weather conditions. There is also a report of a tree being down on the R600 between Fivemile and the airport.

Three flights out of the airport to London Heathrow, Palma and Amsterdam were cancelled this morning. Passengers are advised to check the airport website or their flight app before travelling to the airport.

Motorists in Cork have also been urged to exercise vigilance on the roads today. The tidal surge could cause flooding in some low lying quay areas of the city including at South Terrace, Union Quay, Wandesford Quay and Morrison’s island.

A car driving through floodwater in Cork. Weather warnings will come into force as the UK and Ireland brace for the arrival of Storm Agnes, which will bring damaging winds and big stormy seas. Agnes, the first named storm of the season, will affect western regions of the UK and Ireland, with the most powerful winds expected on the Irish Sea coasts. Picture date: Tuesday September 26, 2023. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Cork City Council has offered the following update:

“Storm Agnes has moved faster than anticipated across the region, therefore the predicted tidal surge no longer coincides with high tide in Cork City, reducing the anticipated risk of localised flooding in low-lying quay areas of the city.  The road closures and lane restrictions announced yesterday are no longer required and Cork City Council is not predicting any tidal flooding at 5pm this evening.

“However, rainfall and strong winds are expected to continue, so Cork City Council urges road users to drive with care, as driving conditions may be poor, with strong winds blowing debris around, heavy rain affecting visibility and risk of spot flooding on roads.  Please slow down and drive with extra care and attention.

“This morning a number of trees few across the City due to the strong winds and there were a number of minor localised flooding issues.

“Cork City Council Roads, Drainage and Parks crews have been onsite all morning addressing these issues, clearing debris, fallen trees and branches from roads and to address surface flooding issues.

“Cork City Council would like to remind communities and businesses that the two Orange Weather Warnings remain in place until later this afternoon and that they need to continue to take due care and attention of this significant weather event.

“Householders are asked to secure loose items such as wheelie bins, garden furniture, trampolines, etc.”

Met Éireann chief forecaster Gerry Murphy has told the Today with Claire Byrne Show the peak danger time is between now and 5pm in the counties with an orange weather warning.

An orange weather warning means be prepared for bad weather. Falling trees and power outrages are likely.

The very strong winds from Cork city will not coincide, fortunately, with high tide in the city this evening. There remains, though, a chance of coastal flooding in west Cork.

There are very high waves off the south coast that people need to be aware of, he cautioned.

Storm Agnes brings larger waves to the east coast at Killiney Beach. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A windy Killiney Beach as Storm Agnes hits the east coast. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The scene at Owenahincha, west Cork, earlier on Wednesday. Photograph: Andy Gibson.

The latest rainfall radar from Met Éireann indicates that heavy rain is affecting most parts of the country. A mean wind speed of 69km/h is already being experienced at Sherkin Island off the coast of Co Cork. That level of wind speed vindicates the orange level warning issued for Co Cork.

The storm surge around the Waterford Estuary is forecast to be significant and in the range of approximately 60cm and this will coincide with astronomical spring tides close to highest astronomical tide, Waterford County Council has warned.

Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council, has urged the public to exercise caution. “With the possibility of severe winds and localised and coastal flooding, driving conditions will be difficult, there is the risk of localised flooding, fallen trees and branches and poor visibility, all which will make journeys hazardous.

“Waterford City and County Council’s severe weather management team is monitoring the situation, and ground crews are on stand-by to deal with any issues that may arise. We would urge the public to heed all public safety advice and avoid unnecessary journeys until Storm Agnes has receded.”

Some 60 households in Ballincollig, Co Cork, have a power outage. Power is due to be restored at 12.30pm.

There are reports that Storm Agnes has made landfall in Clonakilty By with driving rain accompanying the wind. There are also video footage emerging on social media of wind and rain in Rosscarbery in west Cork. High tide is around 4.30pm in Cork. Onshore winds and heavy rain could lead to coastal flooding.

Brendan Creagh from Met Éireann last night explained why this storm could do damage: “We get these kind of weather systems any time of the year. It’s just when they reach the numerical values of status orange they can do a bit more damage than they would in winter when they are more common due to the trees still being in leaf.”

“But it’s going to be persistent for the whole day and it’s going to be a whole day event really as the [storm] makes it’s way to Scotland by say midnight tomorrow.”