Ireland braces for worst storm in over 50 years

Published by Niall Sargent on

October 15th, 2017

Met Éireann has issued a red weather warning for the entire country as Hurricane Ophelia is set to make landfall in Ireland tomorrow morning.

In a statement issued this evening, Met Éireann said that Ex-Hurricane Ophelia is “forecast to track directly over Ireland during the daytime Monday”.

The national meteorological service said that it is set to be the worst storm since 1961, with gale force winds with gusts in excess of 130km/h tomorrow.

It is forecast that all areas of the country are at risk of “violent and destructive gusts”, in particular, the southwest and south in the morning and eastern counties in the afternoon.

“Heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will result in flooding,” the statement continues, with a “potential risk to lives”. The red warning will run from 6am – 11pm on Monday.

The Department of Education and Skills has announced that all schools, colleges and other educational institutions are to remain closed tomorrow.

Crèches and Montessori facilities should also remain closed tomorrow. A number of flights to and from Cork had been cancelled by Aer Lingus.

National Emergency Coordination Group

The National Emergency Coordination Group on Severe Weather met this morning to discuss preparations for the storm, warning members of the public to avoid any travel on Monday “unless absolutely necessary”.

Road users are advised to pay particular attention to the risk posed by fallen trees and flying debris, with the group calling for tomorrow to “be a no bike day” due to the extreme winds forecast.

Local authorities have been advised to activate their severe weather teams and to prepare for anticipated wind and potential flood damage through Local Coordination Group meetings.

Chair of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, Paul Kehoe T.D said that the Defence Forces “stand ready” to deploy transport and engineering assets and resources when called upon.

Power Outages

In a statement this afternoon, the EBS said that it is expecting loses of electric supplies to parts of the country and advised the public to stay away from fallen cables that may have broken due to the high winds.

Real-time information on outages will be available at www.esbpowercheck.ie, with further information at http://updatesfromesb.com/.

Rural Communities at Risk

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. this evening urged farmers, fishermen and people in rural areas to be “extra vigilant” and take precautions as Storm Ophelia approaches.

Minister Creed called for farmers to secure loose objects on their farms and for fishermen to take “particular care” as the force of the storm hits along the western coastline.

Emergency information will be made available across social media platforms and other traditional media sources.

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Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London