Snow and ice follow ‘worst storm in memory’ in Kerry

About 30,000 people remain without power while telephone services down

Teachers and parents evacuate children from Listellick NS in Tralee where the roof was blown off by violent winds yesterday. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Teachers and parents evacuate children from Listellick NS in Tralee where the roof was blown off by violent winds yesterday. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

 

Snow and ice have followed what was this morning widely described as “the worst storm in living memory” in Kerry yesterday.

Snow ploughs are out this morning in west and north Kerry, while just under 30,000 people remain without power and telephone services are again down.

Thousands of trees are down, and a number of parks, including the Killarney National Park and Ballyseedy Wood in Tralee, are closed to the public after what a spokesman described as “the widespread downing of trees”.

Some of the county’s finest oak, beech, cedar and pine specimens have been lost and National Parks and Wildlife staff are assessing the damage.

Storm damage in Co Kerry

The tree-lined Lauragh alongside Kenmare Bay, southwest of Kenmare and one of the most beautiful regions in the area, has been badly damaged.

Minor roads are closed, but major routes are open. There are long queues this morning on the Kerry-Cork county bounds after a truck overturned near Macroom. The road is also having to be treated for ice and motorists are being asked to avoid it this morning.

Dozens of schools are closed, including Listellick NS, where children yesterday sheltered under their benches as the roof lifted over their heads. Preschools, national school and secondary schools are closed throughout the county.

Damage to powerlines was in some cases caused by debris from back-garden trampolines being blown onto electricity poles, which cracked with the force of the wind.

New ESB poles laid just two years ago were also “lifted clean out of the ground” in the storm.

Thankful that no one lost their life, county council spokesman Padraig Corkery said. The storm, albeit short-lived, was “unbelievable in its intensity... Nobody remembers a storm like that.”

Water supplies have been disrupted in places, and boil-water notices are operating in several parts of the county.