WALES is bracing itself for a turbulent weather onslaught as Storm Ciarán, the latest tempest in this year’s increasingly active Atlantic hurricane season, descends upon the region. The Met Office has issued severe yellow warnings for wind and rain, spanning across south, mid, and north Wales, with authorities urging residents to prepare for potential travel disruptions, damage to buildings, and flooding.
Forecasters have predicted wind gusts reaching up to 70mph (110km/h), which could result in flying debris, making it unsafe for travel. Additionally, some areas may experience a deluge of up to 100mm (3.9in) of rain, raising concerns of potential flooding. As a precautionary measure, one flood warning has been issued, indicating the severity of the impending weather conditions.
The Met Office’s rain warning, set to begin at 18:00 GMT on Wednesday, covers every county in Wales and is expected to persist throughout Thursday. Simultaneously, the wind warning encompasses Bridgend, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, and Vale of Glamorgan, commencing three hours after the rain warning.
Authorities have taken swift action to mitigate the storm’s impact, with Powys Council leading the charge. The council has made preparations by ensuring sandbags are readily available for deployment, meticulously checking the functionality of flood defences, and clearing gulleys and ditches. Councillor Jackie Charlton emphasised the county’s readiness, stating, “Flood defences across the county are ready to be used, and depots have supplies of sandbags ready to deploy, if needed. Flooding hotspots are being monitored, and staff are engaging with local flood groups to ensure that communities are as prepared as can be.”
Chris Cousens, the RNLI’s water safety lead for Wales, expressed deep concern about the impending weather conditions. He warned, “We’re expecting some quite serious weather over the next 24-48 hours. These conditions normally bring with them much bigger waves and more hazardous conditions at the coast.” He further emphasised the danger, advising against venturing out to “experience the weather,” citing the potential risks associated with the storm.
The Met Office’s warnings highlight the potential risks to life and property, urging residents to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions. With the storm expected to hit the region imminently, authorities and emergency services remain on high alert, prepared to respond swiftly to any incidents that may arise.
As Storm Ciarán barrels towards Wales, residents are encouraged to stay indoors, secure loose items around their properties, and avoid unnecessary travel. By heeding the advice of experts and authorities, individuals can contribute to their safety and the overall resilience of their communities during this challenging weather event.