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Mayo braced for Storm Callum


Anton McNulty

THE west of Ireland is bracing itself for coastal flooding and potential wind damage ahead of  Storm Callum, which is forecast to reach land before midnight tonight with gusts of up to 130km per hour.
As Storm Callum makes its way over the Atlantic towards Ireland, Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange weather warning for Mayo and other coastal counties along the west coast. The national Meteorological Service is predicting that the storm will reach Mayo at around 11pm tonight (Thursday), with coastal areas expected to experience gusts of between 100 and 130km per hour.
Met Éireann is also warning that there is a risk of coastal flooding and damage due to the combination of high winds, heavy rain and high tides. The high winds and heavy rain are expected to continue well into Friday afternoon, with the status orange weather warning in place until 5pm tomorrow evening.

Violent gusts

According to Siobhán Ryan of Met Éireannm, the public should expect violent gusts and prepare accordingly. “The strongest winds will be all around the coast of Ireland but with a particular emphasis on Atlantic coastal counties, and there will be rain accompanying it too,” she said. “An orange weather warning is not to be underrated, it is a severe weather warning. Late Thursday night until Friday, there is the possibility of localised flooding. You’re going to see some violent gusts up along the coast potentially.
“All the obvious things apply – stay away from exposed coasts, drive slowly in the anticipated crosswinds. The trees are still heavily leafed at the moment, so there is the potential for further trees to fall.”

Extreme caution

The National Emergency Group – which is made up of officials from various State agencies, including the Office of Public Works, Met Éireann, the Department of Defence, the Garda, the Defence Forces and the Coast Guard – met this afternoon (Thursday) to prepare for the arrival of Storm Callum.
Mayo County Council has asked the public to remain vigilant and to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary. Motorists are advised to exercise extreme caution, to drive at a careful speed, to be conscious of other travellers and not to attempt to drive through road floods   unless they are certain they are passable.
“There is a possibility that weather warnings can be extended or deteriorated conditions last longer than anticipated,” Mayo County Council stated, adding: “Once the weather warning has passed, please remain vigilant and exercise extreme caution as debris and fallen trees may be on all routes.”