Schools in seven counties to close tomorrow ahead of Storm Eunice

Schools in seven counties to close tomorrow ahead of Storm Eunice

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES and early education services in seven counties in Ireland are to close tomorrow due to the threat of "multi-hazard" weather event Storm Eunice.

A Status Red Alert for wind has been issued by Met Éireann for counties Cork and Kerry, while in Donegal, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon Status Orange snow warnings have been issued.

All other counties may open schools subject to local conditions.

The Department of Education is advising that schools in all seven counties remain closed and commence remote learning where possible.

The storm will bring with it heavy sleet and snow leading to blizzard-like conditions in parts with treacherous driving conditions, and it is expected to impact most during school commuting hours.

Status Orange weather warnings will be in effect for 18 other counties.

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, Keith Leonard, director of emergency management at the Department of Housing, said the storm will be a "high impact, multi-hazard" event.

"It will track quickly across the country, causing significant disruption with power outages and trees down in many areas," he said.

The status red wind warning for Cork and Kerry will come into effect at 3am until 8am on Friday, with gusts in excess of 130km/h expected. There will also be some coastal flooding in these areas, Met Éireann said, especially at high tide, which is between 6 and 7am.

People in these counties are advised to stay indoors, due to the potential threat to life, debris and the risk of hazardous driving conditions.

"Storm Eunice will bring heavy sleet and snow, leading to blizzard-like conditions in parts, with treacherous driving conditions," said Met Éireann.

In Northern Ireland, a yellow wind and snow warning has been issued by the Met Office covering the period 3am on Friday to 6pm.

"Storm Eunice may cause disruption due to heavy snow and some strong winds on Friday," said the UK forecaster.

The warnings were issued during a slight lull in the stormy conditions after Storm Dudley swept across the island on Wednesday.