| 12.3°C Belfast

Motorists warned amid rain forecast

Close

Heavy rain has been forecast nationwide

Heavy rain has been forecast nationwide

Heavy rain has been forecast nationwide

Motorists have been warned to take extra care after heavy rain was forecast nationwide.

Between 40mm and 60mm of rain is forecast to fall in Munster and Connacht, with 30mm-50mm expected in Leinster and Ulster, with more due on Friday.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) said accumulations may lead to excess surface water on roads and flooding in places.

Noel Brett, RSA chief executive, said: "After prolonged periods of dry weather there tends to be a build-up of oil and rubber deposit on the road. When this deposit mixes with rainwater it increases the risk of a skid and increases your stopping distance. Our advice is to slow down and increase your braking distance to four seconds to allow for poor surface conditions."

A small craft warning has also been issued by Met Eireann, with easterly winds increasing from force six or higher later tonight on coasts from Carnsore Point to Roche's Point to Valentia.

Declan Geoghegan, manager of the Irish Coast Guard, said the dangers from this weather system mean that some local flooding is likely.

"Do not attempt to cross a fast-running river or floodwater fords as they may be stronger and deeper than you think," he said.

"Flooded urban areas may contain many hazards, not least of which include submerged open manholes and downed power lines. The combination of tides, forecasted high winds in the coming days and swollen rivers may result in very dangerous conditions."

Off-duty garda Ciaran Jones drowned last October when he was swept away while attempting to divert traffic away from a dangerous bridge in Co Wicklow.

Within hours nurse Cecilia De Jesus drowned when floods when water engulfed her basement home in Harold's Cross, Dublin.

PA