James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Storm Barra poses 'danger to life' as 80 mph winds, rain and snow batter UK
7 December 2021, 07:17 | Updated: 7 December 2021, 07:26
Storm Barra poses a "danger to life" with up to 80 mph winds, rain and snow expected across the UK, the Met Office has said.
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Weather warnings for snow, ice, rain and wind have been issued in preparation for the storm sweeping in from the Atlantic, with the Met Office saying: "There is a small chance that injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties."
The west of Ireland is expected receive the worst of the storm on Tuesday, with travel disruptions likely as well as power cuts and damage to buildings.
Over 1,500 properties in Cork are already without power, according to ESB Networks.
Meanwhile, over 1,700 properties in Malahide are powerless.
Wind gusts of up to 80 mph are also expected on the western and southern coasts of England and Wales.
The RNLI has urged people to stay well back from the water's edge along the coast, while the Environment Agency has issued three flood warnings for England's south coast, as well as 35 flood alerts.
Homes and businesses in Ireland have been preparing for the extreme weather on its way, with schools also closed across the country in response to the "red alert" put in place in Cork, Kerry and Clare.
Covid-19 test and vaccination centres will stay closed in some parts of the country too, amid warnings that no part of the island will escape from the effects of the major storm.
The public has been urged to avoid any activities that could expose them to "unnecessary danger", with Defence Force troops on standby, alongside members of Civil Defence.
However, Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said Storm Barra's wind gusts and impacts "will be a notch down compared to Arwen", which led to widespread power cuts at the end of November.
There have been concerns that gale-force winds on Tuesday could make it more difficult for engineers to reconnect homes, though spokesman Stephen Dixon said winds would "gradually weaken" as they move east and should have petered out by Thursday.
It comes as Boris Johnson assured those with homes affected by the power cuts that they would have supply restored by Tuesday.
As of Monday, some 1,600 households in the North East were still without electricity - 10 days after Storm Arwen.
Mr Johnson said he spoke to the chief executive of Northern Powergrid and had been "assured they would be reconnected tomorrow at the latest".