Met Éireann has this afternoon amended their warnings to include more counties as Hurricane Ophelia approaches the south west of Ireland.
A status orange wind warning and a status orange rainfall warning has been issued for Donegal, with gusts between 110 and 130km/h to batter the county tomorrow.
“The winds have potential to cause structural damage and disruption, with dangerous marine conditions due to high seas and potential flooding,” Met Eireann says.
They warn that upwards for 40 mm of rain will fall in the county, and could cause some localised flooding.
The wind warning is valid between 9am tomorrow morning and 3am on Tuesday morning. The rainfall warning is valid between 9am tomorrow morning and 9pm tomorrow night.
The status red warning has been widened to encompass counties on the east of Ireland, with Wexford and Waterford being included on the list alongside Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, and Limerick.
The status red warning may be upgraded to include Donegal as the cyclone approaches and meteorologists learn more about the storm’s path.
The Irish Coast Guard has also issued a warning asking people to exercise “extreme caution” as severe winds and stormy conditions will strike all coasts.
“Members of the public have been urged to heed the advice of the Coast Guard as Met Eireann has issued a severe weather warning Level Red to affect western and southern coastal counties tomorrow Monday with severe weather, storm force winds, very high seas and storm surges on all coasts tomorrow.
“The Coast Guard strongly advises the public to stay away from exposed beaches, cliffs and piers, harbour walls and promenades along the coast tomorrow.
“Remember to stay back, stay high and stay dry. If you see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the shore dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”
Met Eireann has warned that this is the strongest hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean since records began. Met Eireann told the Irish Independent that Ophelia can be compared to Hurricane Debbie, which struck Ireland 66 years ago, killing fifteen people and causing severe destruction.
Currently classed as a hurricane, Ophelia will be downgraded to a post-tropical storm by the time it hits the south west of Ireland.
Is your farm ready for #StormOphelia ? Loose material on farms should be tied down to avoid being blown around and causing damage.
— Michael Creed TD (@creedcnw) October 15, 2017
A spokesperson for Age Action told the Irish Independent that they are encouraging everyone to look out for the older people in their communities. They are asking older people to consider staying with a relative for a few days, and ensure they have enough food and fuel in case the roads become too precarious to travel on.
“Even if they’re alright many older people get an enormous sense of comfort from knowing someone is keeping an eye out for them,” the spokesperson concluded.
Anybody not taking storm Orphelia seriously should think again – I don't remember ever seeing a forecast for the south coast quite like this https://t.co/DNeoeCQ4Ut
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) October 15, 2017