The Government has a “full crisis” response ready to deal with the risk of flooding and power outages ahead of the arrival of Storm Jorge this weekend.
Forecaster Met Eireann said it has already been one of the wettest Februarys on record with more heavy rain forecast this weekend, bringing a risk of flooding.
The National Emergency Co-Ordination Group met on Friday afternoon ahead of the storm’s arrival.
Briefed by Ministers @SimonHarrisTD & @MurphyEoghan this am on Covid19 and Storm Jorge. Want everyone to know that under the Constitution the Government continues to have full authority to deal with floods, severe weather events and threats to public health.— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) February 28, 2020
The group is made up of state bodies including Gardai, Defence Forces, the Coast Guard and Met Eireann.
The group advised people to stay away from coastal areas, to check in with vulnerable neighbours and to take care on the roads.
Speaking after the meeting, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy warned weather conditions will worsen over the weekend and said a “full crisis” response is ready to be activated.
He said: “A full crisis response has been in place in many parts of the country, protecting life and protecting property.
“With the coming storm conditions things will worsen over the weekend. Storm force 10 winds are going to be in coastal areas tomorrow.
So in coastal areas, people need to stay back, stay high and stay dry. We are also going to see stormy conditions on land across the country and snowfall in places as well as thunderstorms, damaging gusts are possible anywhere. This means that trees could be down anywhere.
“Damaging gusts are possible anywhere – this means that trees could come down anywhere. Met Eireann will be updating and possibly escalating their warnings later on this afternoon.”
As #StormJorge approaches the Irish Coast Guard asks the public not to put their lives, or the lives of our rescue teams in danger by venturing out to exposed coastal areas unnecessarily.— Irish Coast Guard (@IrishCoastGuard) February 28, 2020
Please heed this message and do your bit to help us to keep everyone safe this Weekend. pic.twitter.com/klgB8gv2PT
Fergus Griffin, of the Defence Forces, said plans are in place to help people in areas at risk of flooding.
He added: “Since February 24, the Defence Forces has deployed 209 personnel in the preparation and maintenance of flood defences.
“We currently have 29 personnel deployed in the Castleconnell area of Limerick, and we stand ready to assist our colleagues in the local authority.”
Met Eireann has issued an orange wind warning for Clare, Galway Kerry and Mayo from 6.00am on Saturday to 3.00am Sunday.
There will be heavy thundery downpours of rain and hail, and snow in places for a time on Saturday morning.