Several hundred sandbags deployed as Storm Gerrit hits NI

Person with umbrella through rain-covered glass

Several hundred sandbags have been deployed across Northern Ireland as a result of Storm Gerrit, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has said.

The DfI said 211 high priority incidents have been reported since midnight.

This includes 148 flooding reports, mainly in the east of NI and around Belfast, and 36 fallen tree or branch incidents obstructing traffic.

Blockages caused by debris trapped in water courses have also been cleared.

In Northern Ireland, a yellow weather warning for strong winds and heavy rain was in place until 10:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The Met Office warned of rainfall of up to 60mm in some areas and powerful gusts.

Several roads remain closed due to weather-related issues, including the Antrim Coast Road near Glenarm, County Antrim and the Blaris Road in Lisburn.

Swell at Donaghadee
Image caption,The waves have been crashing over the wall on the Parade in Donaghadee, County Down

Orlock Head in County Down recorded Northern Ireland’s strongest gust of wind as the storm moved east.

It reached 62mph, while 59mph gusts were recorded at Ballypatrick in County Antrim.

In Murlough, County Down, 31mm of rain was recorded, while 29mm fell at Stormont, Lough Fea in County Tyrone and Banagher in County Londonderry.

The car parks at Crawfordsburn Country Park, also in County Down, have been closed due to flooding.

Weather warnings for both wind and rain have also been issued across the Republic of Ireland by Irish weather service, Met Éireann.

A status orange wind warning for counties Clare, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, and Wexford was issued at 17:00 GMT on Wednesday and is in place until midnight.

Met Éireann said strong and gusty westerly winds “will reach storm or near storm force for a time”, adding that power outages and severe disruption is likely.

A status yellow wind and rain warning is in place for the entire country until midnight.

A further status yellow wind and rain warning has been issued for counties Clare, Kerry, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo from midnight until 06:00 GMT on Friday.

Met Éireann has warned of strong to gale force westerly winds, adding that coastal flooding is likely. Squally showers, with a chance of thunderstorms, may also lead to localised flooding.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Met Éireann senior forecaster Gerry Murphy said that “the southern half of the county will have a very windy evening and night”.

The arrival of Storm Gerrit marks the earliest in the season that a storm named with the letter G has arrived.

The previous earliest one was Storm Georgina on the 23rd of January 2018, while the latest was storm Gareth on 11th March 2019.

It is also only the fourth time that storm names have reached the letter G since naming began in 2015.

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