Statement from National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management
Statement from the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) Crisis Management Team, part of the Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage, are designated as the Lead Government Department for coordinating the response to severe weather emergencies at national level.
NDFEM have been liaising with Met Éireann regarding the current forecasted weather period. A Met Éireann briefing was held today (Friday 18 August). All Local Authority severe weather assessment teams, Government Departments and agencies attended this meeting to prepare for the arrival of Storm Betty.
Met Éireann’s current forecasts indicate that Storm Betty will move across the country during Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, moving Southwest to Northeast across the country, potentially bringing strong winds, rain and the threat of coastal, pluvial and fluvial flooding. Met Éireann have issued weather warnings and advisories and these are available on www.met.ie.
Storm Betty is forecast to bring high winds, particularly across the Southern areas. Rainfall levels of 40mm could be experienced across the country with the potential for over 60mm in some areas. This is a dynamic storm system, intensified by the Jet Stream leading to some uncertainty as to the potential track and intensity of Storm Betty.
Local Authorities, who are the lead agency for the response to severe weather events have activated their Crisis Management Teams and Local Coordination Groups in preparation for the arrival of Storm Betty. Relevant Departments and Agencies also are preparing to support local authorities responding to Storm Betty.
Key Public Safety and Information Messages
The public are advised to monitor Met Éireann forecasts during this period.
In areas affected it is likely there will be:
- High seas; the public are advised to stay away from coastal areas during this period. The Irish Coast Guard are appealing to people to “Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry”.
- Very strong winds are predicted which will make driving conditions hazardous, especially for the more vulnerable road users, e.g., cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and high sided vehicles. Road users should pay particular attention to the risk posed by fallen trees and flying debris as trees are in full leaf.
- There is a potential for tidal flooding in coastal areas, especially in Southern and Eastern counties. In addition to this, the storm may also bring localised heavy showers, which in turn may lead to surface flooding in urban locations.
- People should be extra vigilant and aware of the risk potentially posed by trees in high wind events. The most widespread and potentially dangerous consequence of high wind is the risk of trees breaking/falling, possibly bringing down live power lines, posing a danger to motorists and pedestrians in the vicinity.
- People are advised to prepare for the arrival of the storm including ensuring their mobile phone is fully charged to enable communication.
The public are again reminded to monitor Met Éireann forecasts for their area and to be aware of the changing weather conditions and to heed safety warnings. Information is available across social media platforms and other news media sources.
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management will continue to liaise with Met Éireann during this developing situation.