Weather Warning: #StormCiara

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Weather Warning
The Met Office has issued a Yellow warning over the next few days valid from:

Saturday will start cloudy and a bit breezy. By midday the south-south-westerly winds will start to increase and rain will start to spread from the west. Wind speeds will be around 25-35mph gusting 45-50mph, with some gusts of 60mph possible.

What to expect:

  • Some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely
  • Probably some bus and train services affected, with some journeys taking longer.
  • Delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges likely
  • Some short term loss of power and other services is possible
  • It’s likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities affected by spray and/or large waves

The rain carries on into Sunday morning and then turns more showery, so some places will see some dry spells. The south-westerly winds, initially with speeds of 25-30mph gusting 40-45mph. At the moment the very strongest winds will be seen in the early hours of Sunday morning with speeds of  around 25-35mph gusting 45-55mph possibly 60-70mph at times. There is a lower risk of some gusts of up to 80mph early on Sunday morning, but this is something we are watching. There is the possibility of some heavy showers during Sunday, especially in the morning, with the possibility of hail and thunder but these will be very fast moving.

The very strongest winds will have moved away during Sunday afternoon, but westerly winds will still be strong with mean speeds of 20-30mph gusting 30-40mph, isolated 45-50mph gusts especially around showers and exposed north coast areas.

What to expect:

  • Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible
  • Some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs, could happen
  • Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible
  • Some roads and bridges may close
  • Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage
  • Injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties

The unsettled weather continues into the new week too. Monday will be a gusty and very cold day.  There will be plenty of wintry showers crossing the country on the westerly wind. Snow and a mix of rain and snow will fall and winds around the showers will be very gusty and strong. It is extremely difficult to predict where showers will fall, but western and northern areas will most likely see the bulk of the wintry precipitation but almost anywhere could see snow fall with some settling mainly on the high ground. We expect to see 1-3cm about 150m with 5-10cm above 300m. The combination of wind and snow will result in blizzard conditions at times as well as some drifting snow. There will also be a risk of lightning in these showers.

What to expect:

  • There is a small chance of travel delays on roads with some stranded vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel
  • There is a slight chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage
  • There is a small chance that injuries could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties

Facility closures & disruption

The public are advised not to visit forests and parks due to the risk of falling branches and debris. 
Please monitor the Met Office weather warnings for your area and be aware of the weather conditions and safety warnings. 
Please note: There may be disruption to council facilities and services.

Emergency numbers

You should note the following numbers in case of emergency:

  • Emergency services – 999 or 112
  • Flooding Incident Line – 0300 2000 100
  • Northern Ireland Electricity Networks – 03457 643 643
  • Report a fallen tree or blocked road – 0300 200 7891
  • NI Gas Emergency Service – 0800 002 001
  • Northern Ireland Water Waterline – 03457 440 088
  • Housing Executive – 03448 920 901

Refuse Collections

Helpful advice during high winds

To help prevent litter and keep our borough tidy, please follow these tips during strong winds:

  • Put your refuse collection bin(s) / boxes out on the morning of collection – please try not to leave your recycling out the night before
  • To prevent refuse collection bin(s) / boxes from blowing away, please bring them back in as soon as you can after collections have taken place
  • If your recycling containers are only half-full and you can manage, please consider waiting until your next scheduled collection day when the weather may be calmer to leave them out or bring them to one of the Council’s Recycling Centres
  • If you have a kerbside box, please use a lid to stop your recycling from blowing out
  • Please ensure that all of your refuse fits in your bin and that the lid can close. If the lid is up, the wind may catch it and blow waste around your neighbourhood

Thank you for recycling and for helping to keep your neighbourhood clean and tidy.

Roads information

You can access the latest updates about roads at this link:

Advice for road users

All road users are asked to pay attention to any road signs and temporary arrangements put in place during weather warnings.  Longer journey times or cancellations are possible if road, rail, air and ferry services are affected with the chance that some roads and bridges could close.

High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong cross winds, or when passing bridges or gaps in the hedges.

In very windy weather a vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back from them when they are overtaking a high-sided vehicle.

Motorists are also advised to drive with care due to possible wind-blown debris.

Travel by air or sea advice

If you’re planning to travel by air or sea, you should check with the ferry company or airline in case there are any delays or cancellations.

Strong winds advice

You should:

    • keep your property in a well-maintained condition (for example  replace/ repair any loose roof tiles, guttering, and so on that could potentially come loose and cause injury or damage to property)
    • secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture, wheelie bins, trampolines, or anything else that could be blown around
    • close and securely fasten doors and windows
  • park vehicles in a garage (if you have one) or keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls, and fences
  • make sure you are prepared should there be a power cut

During a storm you should:

  • stay indoors as much as possible
  • if you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees
  • not go outside to repair damage while the storm is ongoing
  • not drive unless your journey is really necessary

After a storm you should:

  • be careful not to touch any electrical/ telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging
  • not walk too close to walls, buildings, and trees as they could have been weakened

Preparing for a power cut

It’s important to be prepared for a potential loss of power. You should:

  • know where your household fuses and trip switches are so that you can check if the problem is with your electrics only
  • test smoke alarms regularly
  • keep a supply of new batteries in torches and radios (for checking updates on news bulletins)
  • keep a supply of candles
  • keep mobile phones, laptops or tablets fully charged – so you will have use of battery power for a short time at least
  • have the telephone numbers you might need to hand (as well as mobile phones, a non-mains powered landline telephone will help you stay in touch during any disruptions to your power supply)
  • if you have a baby at home, make sure you have a supply of pre-prepared formula baby milk (if used) and prepare a flask of hot water to heat bottles and baby food (it is always safer to make up a fresh feed; when this is not possible, feeds should never be stored for longer than 24 hours)

If you depend on electrical equipment that is vital to your health, contact Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) Networks to get on their Critical Care Register:

If your electricity goes off

If your electricity goes off, you should:

  • check your fuses and trip switches – then check if your neighbours are without power
  • leave one light on
  • leave your fridge/ freezer switched on with the door shut to maintain a low temperature
  • check that other electrical appliances and machinery are switched off at the wall
  • preferably use a torch, oil or gas lamp as a source of light rather than candles
  • if you must use naked flames, please take extra care and make certain that they are put out before you go to bed
  • check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours in your area to make sure they are okay
  • if you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning

Reporting a power cut

If your power is off and you want to report it or get more information, contact NIE Networks Customer Helpline or visit their website:

You can find an updated list of areas affected by power cuts on the NIE Networks website