18/10/2011

Winter Weather Arrives Across Ireland

After a drop in temperature, gale force winds, heavy rainfall and even a touch of snow the island of Ireland has now seen flights cancelled, motorists stranded and homes flooded.

Severe winds at Dublin Airport have resulted in a number of flights being grounded or diverted to Shannon or Belfast Airports last night.

Five flights have been cancelled and a further 14 have been diverted as winds gusted up to 54 knots at times and a gale warning was raised by Met Éireann.

Inbound flights from Vienna, Warsaw, Barcelona, Berlin, Glasgow Rome, Amsterdam, Beauvais and Stockholm were diverted to Belfast or Shannon.

An American Airlines flight inbound from Chicago was also diverted to London.

Five outbound flights - to Manchester, Birgminham, Luxemburg Edinburgh and London Heathrow - were cancelled.

Met Éireann said this kind of weather is not particularly unusual for this time of year.

The forcast is for "extremely windy, blustery and very wet weather" with gust of up to 100 km/h likely in many areas.

Meanwhile the North of the country was affected by flash floods after heavy rain yesterday between 6am and 6pm.

The province had been hit by a very active band of heavy rain and squally winds followed by much colder air coming in behind.

There was even some wet snow reported on higher ground above 200m, to the west and north of Belfast, with the Glenshane Pass getting a slight covering.

Speaking after visiting some of those hit by yesterday's flooding, the DUP MP for South Antrim Dr. William McCrea has called for a coordinated response between local councils, emergency services and government agencies to the threat posed by recent heavy rainfall.

He said his constituency office met with several residents affected by the flooding at various sites around Antrim after an elderly lady had to be rescued from her flooded home.

"It is essential that local councils, the emergency services and responsible government agencies act in a coordinated way to help people affected by the recent heavy rainfall. When weather such as this occurs, the full resources of all agencies [must be] put at the disposal of the effort to counteract flooding," said the local MP.

(LB/CD)

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