Storm Ophelia clean-up continues across the south east

Council workers to focus on clearing roads of fallen trees, telegraph poles and debris

An uprooted tree lies in a road as storm Ophelia hits Cork on Monday. Photograph: Kieron O’Connor/Reuters

An uprooted tree lies in a road as storm Ophelia hits Cork on Monday. Photograph: Kieron O’Connor/Reuters

 

Crews from local authorities and public utilities across the southeast have been working since last night on clearing roads and making their areas safer following the passage of Storm Ophelia over the region on Monday.

A massive clean-up operation began in Cork on Tuesday morning as workers begin clearing roads after Storm Ophelia left a trail of destruction costing tens of millions of euros.

On Tuesday morning some 88,000 ESB Networks customers were without power in Cork, including the city and suburbs, Bandon and West Cork and Fermoy and North Cork .

Repair crews are expected to take several days to restore power to all homes and businesses in the city and county.

Cork County Council chief executive officer Tim Lucey said the council’s priority during the storm, which saw Met Éireann record winds at Cork Airport hitting a mean speed of 61 km/h and gusting to 102 km/h, was to ensure the safety of public and staff and assessment of the damage only began after the storm passed and it was safe to do so.

Cork City Council said 200-300 staff from the council’s fire, roads, environment and housing departments would work on the clean -up and repair operation, with the focus on removing fallen trees and other debris as well as examining structural damage to buildings.

Hundreds of fallen trees across the city and county cause eddisruption to travel as city and county council crews begin the clean-up, with Centre Park Road in the city among the worst affected after 17 trees, some over 70 years old, were toppled in the storm.

Other important routes affected include the N71 in west Cork, which was blocked by fallen trees between Leap and Skibbereen; the Innishannon to Kinsale Road; and the Midleton to Dungourney Road.

The Kanturk to Ballymaquirke Cross road also remained blocked in north Cork, while closer to Cork city, the Cloghroe to Leemount Road was blocked by a tree at Canon’s Cross and the Blarney to Newcastle Road was blocked by a tree.

Irish Water is working on homes affected by loss of water. Restrictions were in place in some areas over night with the main impact on homes supplied by the Innishannon Water Treatment in West Cork as well as some homes in the Kinsale area.

Bus Éireann is operating a full service in Cork city on Tuesday morning. At Kent Station, Iarnród Éireann is operating full mainline and commuter schedules, with a few exceptions. Cork Airport is open and advising passengers to check with their airlines for information on their flights.

Both primary and secondary schools in Cork have been advised to remain closed today and clean-up work is continuing at Douglas Community School, where the roof of the gym was taken off by the wind. University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology are opening from noon.

Wexford

In Wexford, the county council estimated that over 600 trees have blown down since Monday morning, but 140 staff have been working on the clean-up since the storm abated.

The council’s response crews made all national roads through Co Wexford passable by midnight on Monday/Tuesday, with all regional roads clear by 9am on Tuesday.

“It will take to the end of this week for all minor debris to be cleared from the roads,” the council said. There was a “high number of electricity outages” across the county, with water supply affected in a number of areas and the public asked to conserve water, where supplies were still running.

Carlow

Carlow County Council have also asked householders and businesses to conserve water where possible, while tankered supplies have been provided in areas where the water has been cut.

Tipperary

All national roads were clear in Tipperary by midday apart from the N74 from Golden to Cashel, the Mill Road in Thurles and the Rock Road in Ballycahill.

Electricity supplies which were hit in many parts of the county have largely been restored, although water services have been affected in several areas. The Galtee water supply scheme in the west of the county was cut but expected to be restored by Tuesday evening.

Kilkenny

In Kilkenny, members of the Defence have been helping county council outdoor staff with clearing roads and removing debris to make local routes safer.

Over 55 roads were blocked throughout Monday, with 30 of them cleared by lunchtime on Tuesday, with crews out from early morning working on removing blockages and debris.

Waterford

Waterford City and County Council reported trees down in a number of locations across the county, including Kilmeaden, Ballyduff, Bonmahon, Kilcooney, and Tooraneena.

Over 4,000 homes and businesses were still without power on Tuesday morning, with ESB crews working to restore services as quickly as possible, while water services were also hit in several areas including Lismore, Aglish, Inchinleamy, Camphire, Strancally, Ballysaggart, Dunhill and Modeligo.