Extra vigilance is being taken as the wind speeds approach those seen in Storm Ophelia last year.
Following on from Met Éireann most recent update on the nationwide weather warning for Storm Eleanor this morning, further warnings are being issued by other agencies.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA), is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads today as Met Éireann have issued Orange and Yellow weather warnings for strong winds.
An Orange weather warning is in place for Munster, Leinster and South Galway from 4pm until 9pm today with southwest to west winds with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of 110 to 130km/hr expected as Storm Eleanor moves in off the Atlantic. Very high seas along Atlantic coasts mean there will be a risk of coastal flooding.
A Yellow weather warning is also in place for Ireland with southwest to west winds with mean speeds of 55 to 65 km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/hr expected between 4pm and 9pm tonight.
The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip.
The RSA has the following 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
· Drivers should allow extra space allow between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
· Drive with dipped headlights at all times
Advice to Pedestrians, Cyclists and motorcyclists:
· 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.
Additionally, some county councils on the coasts are issuing individual warnings, asking drivers, cyclists and pedestrians not to travel on or near coastal roads.
Tom Tiernan, the Senior Engineer for Clare County Council, made the following statement, “We are advising the public not to venture out unless necessary – particularly in coastal areas. Motorists are asked to be careful when driving and to avoid parking vehicles in close proximity to exposed coastal areas. Any coastal areas which have previously flooded are at risk and people in such situations are advised to take appropriate precautions.”