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22nd Dec 2016

Storm Barbara is on the way and she’s going to be a bad one

It was Storm Frank last Christmas; now it’s Barbara’s turn.

Ireland is set to be hit by winds of up to 120 km/h as Storm Barbara makes its presence felt in the coming days.

Following Irish Ferries cancelling six crossings between Dublin and Holyhead on Friday, Met Éireann and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have both issued warnings ahead of some inclement weather just before Christmas.

Met Éireann have issued a status orange weather warning for coastal regions and high ground in Mayo, Galway and Donegal, with severe gusts between 100 and 120 km/h forecast for Friday.

A status yellow warning has been issued for the rest of the country, meanwhile, with both warnings in effect until Friday evening at 6pm.

In light of the conditions, the RSA are asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads on Friday, issuing the following advice to motorists and pedestrians.

Advice for road users

  • Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected. Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
  • Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times
  • Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm
  • It takes longer to stop in wet conditions so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front
  • Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility
  • Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/h

With added risks posed by wet or flooded roads the RSA has the following advice

  • If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think
  • After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes
  • Sometimes roads can be closed due to their fragile state after wet weather or because they are blocked by flooding
  • Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic
  • Watch out for washed out roads, earth slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and fallen or falling objects.

Advice to Pedestrians & Cyclists

  • Be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
  • Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.