Northern Ireland news

Storm Barra to bring flooding and strong winds

Weather warnings have been issued ahead of Storm Barra. Monster waves leapt the cliffs at Portrush last month as Storm Arwen hit. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

STRONG winds and flooding are due to hit Northern Ireland in the morning with the arrival of Storm Barra.

Severe gusts are likely along the Down and Antrim coastline where some large overtopping waves are expected.

A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office from 6am until 9am tomorrow, with possible disruption to travel, power cuts and damage to buildings.

They warn of a "small chance" that injuries and danger to life could occur "from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties".

They also say there is a chance roads and bridges could close while power cuts could impact on mobile phone coverage.

In the Republic, a rare red warning is in place for Cork and Kerry where winds of over 130kms per hour are forecast.

An orange level warning is in place for much of the east and west coast.

Storm Barra comes just 10 days after Storm Arwen struck, claiming the life of school principal Francis Lagan after a tree fell on his car in Co Antrim.

Another man was killed after he was hit by a falling tree in Cumbria, and a third died after his car was hit in Aberdeenshire.

Tens of thousands of homes in England were also left without power for days.

People living in coastal communities have been urged to prepare for Storm Barra's arrival, and avoid unnecessary risks.

"Walkers are advised to avoid any exposed areas, including seafront and cliff walkways, as they may be hit by sudden gusts, exposing themselves to unnecessary danger," the Irish Coast Guard said.

"All other forms of open-water recreation should be avoided, including by experienced practitioners, as it may result in arousing public concerns and causing rescue services to be alerted."

Coast Guard Operations Manager Micheal O'Toole appealed to the public to remain vigilant, to avoid any unnecessary travel and to monitor Met Eireann weather forecasts.

He said: "Remember stay back, stay high, stay dry."

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Northern Ireland news