Storm Ophelia: a county-by-county damage report
South and West worst hit, but most counties see power outages and blocked roads
Storm Ophelia wrought most of its damage in the south and west of the country today, but all counties have experienced some level of disruption.
Some of the most dramatic scenes occurred in Cork city, where part of one of the stands in Turner’s Cross stadium collapsed. In Douglas the roof of the Community School’s sports hall was ripped off by the winds and deposited in a nearby back garden. Elsewhere in the county, power lines were down and fallen trees lined roads. Cork City Council said its emergency staff will not begin clearing fallen trees and other debris until Ophelia abates entirely because it is too dangerous to send staff out during the storm. Wind speeds of over 190km/h were recorded off the coast of west Cork on Monday morning when Ophelia began buffeting the Fastnet Lighthouse.
The worst of the storm passed over Kerry by 2.30pm, felling hundreds of mature trees and leaving flooding in a number of locations and few roads clear of branches and fences. Thousands of homes – from Rathmore, in the foothills of the Paps on the Cork border, to Glencar valley, hidden in the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks – were left without power. The south Kerry coastal area, Kenmare and tourist town Killarney took the brunt of the winds.
In Galway city coastal defences were completely breached along the Salthill promenade, causing extensive flooding. Bus services, trains to and from Galway and postal deliveries were all suspended, while flights and ferries to and from the Aran islands were also cancelled. However, large numbers of people, including families with children, took to Salthill promenade in bright sunshine and windy conditions on the bay during the morning. Shops were also very busy, with one manager of a supermarket in the suburb of Knocknacarra describing it as “like Christmas Eve” with customers seeking milk, bread, torches, candles and fuel. NUI Galway has said it will reopen on Tuesday with lectures and conferring ceremonies to go ahead as planned.
Limerick city suffered some flooding and water surges driven by offshore winds in the Shannon Estuary. University of Limerick said it will also reopen on Tuesday.
Clare managed to avoid the worst of the storm despite coastal towns such as Lahinch being lashed by heavy winds. The Cliffs of Moher visitors’ centre remained closed for the day. Mayo also appeared to avoid major damage although many homes are without power in the county.
Counties in the northwest suffered some of the worst disruption, particularly in Sligo and Leitrim where thousands of homes are without power and will remain so tonight. Over 3,000 homes in Co Leitrim are without power including more than 1,300 in the Carrick-on-Shannon/Leitrim village areas.
Sligo County Council has warned that fallen trees have made a number of roads impassable. Streets were deserted in many towns and villages by lunchtime, while the normally bustling promenade at Strandhill was quiet as people apparently heeded the advice to avoid exposed coastal areas. A number of roads across Co Roscommon have also been blocked due to fallen trees.
Later in Co Derry, a number of roads were closed due to fallen trees as Storm Ophelia began to batter the northwest. In Magherafelt, the Annaghmore and Glenmaquill Roads were closed, as was the Birren Road and Legavallon Roads in Dungiven.In Derry City, the Peace Bridge remained closed as a precautionary measure. The Foyle Bridge was open with a 30mph (48km/h) speed limit in place.
All bus services in Northern Ireland were suspended. NI Railways did not operate any services which departed after 5.10pm.
There were scores of road closures reported in the Midlands, with fallen trees blocking or partially blocking national and regional roads in counties Kildare, Tipperary, Wicklow, Clare, Longford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Westmeath and Cavan. Local councils were working throughout the day to clear the roads.
Authorities said there were fallen trees at around 60 locations across Co Offaly. In and around Edenderry there were trees down in 22 sites, with roads blocked and power lines down in places. There was a similar situation in the Tullamore area, where trees and poles were down in 20 locations. A further 18 sites in the Birr area had fallen trees, some blocked roads and downed power lines. Power remained out in the Charleville Road area of Tullamore town and in Crinkle and Tubberderry. Elsewhere in Co Offaly, a water main burst east of Cushina Cross on the Walsh Island Water Scheme.
Later on Monday, Co Donegal began to feel the brunt of Storm Ophelia. More than 100 homes in Bundoran and Rossgeir were the first areas with reported faults in Donegal as Ophelia moved northwards. Storm-force winds did not develop in the Northwest until just after 5pm.
Gardaí appealed to people to stay away from a number of roads including the Termon to Dunlewey roads because of high winds. The Harry Blaney Bridge at Fanad was due to close until 8am on Tuesday.
A fallen tree temporarily blocked the main Lifford to Letterkenny Road just before 5.30pm, but this was cleared.
There were many reports of trees felled by the high winds across Co Waterford and the rest of the southeast. The roof of the Lidl supermarket on Davis Road in Clonmel, Co Tipperary was blown off, as was the roof of the Curtains & Blinds shop on Clonmel’s O’Connell Street.
There was damage done to the roof of Clerihan National School, between Clonmel and Cashel, while the roofs were blown off seven buildings on Brown Street in Portlaw, Co Waterford.