Mayo County Council assembled its local crisis team on Wednesday ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Lorenzo, the impact of which will be felt from early Thursday morning.
Crews will be deployed to areas of need and the crisis team will remain on the alert until the yellow and orange weather warnings have been stepped down.
Met Éireann has issued a Status Yellow warning for the entire country to begin at 6am on Thursday. This will ramp up to a Status Orange warning for Mayo and five other counties along the western seaboard by Thursday evening.
Lorenzo, which is due to downgrade to storm status by the time it reaches Irish shores, is expected to cause winds of up to 80 km/hr with gusts reaching in excess of 130km/hr in coastal areas.
High seas are also anticipated, so Mayo County Council has urged “extreme caution” in these areas particularly.
Torrential rain could also affect mountainous areas of the county, while heavy rainfall is forecast over the 24-hour period. Elevated water levels and ground saturation following recent high rainfall increases the risk of flooding, a spokesman for Mayo County Council said.
Local flood plans were activated on Wednesday afternoon and plans for road closures and diversion are expected to be announced later in the day.
“During the duration of the storm conditions, we are urging the general public to be careful as they go about their daily routines,” the council said in a statement.
Anyone who must travel should do so with “extreme care” and be aware of the potential for falling trees, branches, electricity wires, and drive slowly in case there is debris on the roads.
Meanwhile, the local Road Safety Authority has advised residents to secure garden furniture and trampolines.
Mayo’s Road Safety Officer, Noel Gibbons, has ushered an extra warning for the public to store away wheelie bins or, alternatively, to lay them flat on the ground.
“If they are blown onto roadways it can create hazards on the road and bins blown over on footpaths force pedestrians and wheelchair users onto the road,” he said.