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Braced for impact: Agencies ready to respond as Storm Ciara brings heavy rain and gales

Emergency services and agencies say they are braced for the impact of Storm Ciara over the weekend and into the early parts of next week.

A yellow weather warning for wind is in place is in place right across Northern Ireland right through until Tuesday, with the worst of it expected over Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

The Met Office has also included a yellow warning for rain from 3pm Saturday until noon on Sunday.

And with gales of up to 60mph both our council areas – NMD and ABC – are also advising people to avoid uses visiting forests and parks due to the risk of falling branches and debris.

They have warned of possible disruption to their facilities and services as a result of the wind and rain.

At present, staff from all emergency agencies are on the ground monitoring the situation and will be ready to respond to any impacts.

Traffic disruption and some localised flooding are possible and the public are being asked to consider their journeys and take extra care when travelling this weekend, given the likelihood of strong winds and heavy rain.

The Department’s roads and rivers teams have been checking and clearing road gullies and drainage grills and staff will be on standby across the weekend.

Monitoring of water levels and tides has been ongoing and will continue until the weather warnings have elapsed.

Regional Community Resilience Groups have also been advised of weather patterns and to make appropriate preparations.

It may be necessary to close roads or put temporary restrictions in place.

Road users are reminded to adhere to road signs and any temporary traffic lights.

If your journey is essential, reduce your speed, stay well behind the vehicle in front, remain focused and always wear your seatbelt. Traffic information can be found at www.trafficwatchni.com

Agencies will continue to monitor the situation closely over the week and take any necessary action.

To report incidents of flooding, please contact the flooding incident line on 0300 2000 100. Calls taken by the incident line staff are passed to the relevant responding Agency.

Information about preparing for possible flooding, and what to do after a flood, is available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/flooding-your-area

Advice for road users in all adverse weather conditions can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/driving-adverse-weather

More detailed information on keeping safe and useful contact numbers is available on the nidirect.gov.uk website at: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/winds

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