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Image from Waterford City Fire Service Waterford City Fire Service
storm gerrit

Taxi driver injured after tree falls on vehicle during heavy wind in Co Waterford

A taxi driver was injured last night when a tree fell on to his vehicle in Co Waterford.

LAST UPDATE | 28 Dec 2023

HUNDREDS OF HOUSEHOLDS and businesses are without power after Storm Gerrit passed over Ireland last night.

A taxi driver was also injured in Co Waterford last night after a tree fell onto his vehicle. 

The incident happened in Waterford City at around 11pm last night and a man in his 40s was taken to University Hospital Waterford for treatment to non-life threatening injuries.

Gabriel Hynes, Senior Engineer with Waterford City and County Council said the Council received ten reports of trees down during the evening and “more concerningly, one which fell on a travelling taxi”. 

“The taxi driver was hospitalised and treated for minor injuries,” said Hayes.

“While his injuries, thankfully, were not serious, it was a serious incident at the time.”

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Status Orange wind warnings were in place yesterday Waterford, as well as counties Clare, Cork, Kerry, and Wexford.

Widespread Status Yellow alerts for wind and rain, and thunderstorms are now in place.

The wind and rain warning is in effect until 6am tomorrow morning for counties Clare, Kerry, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.

Met Éireann warned that a combination of spring tides, large waves and strong winds may result in some coastal flooding, while squally showers may also lead to localised flooding in places. 

A Status Yellow thunderstorm warning has also been issued for all of Connacht, Munster, and Donegal until 9pm tonight.

Met Éireann forecasts scattered thunderstorms with lightning activity expected, and hail possible too.

Possible impacts could include power outages, hazardous travelling conditions, and localised flooding.

There are hundreds of households and businesses without power this morning, including Clonard in Co Wexford, over 105 customers have been without power since yesterday evening, while over 200 customers are currently without power in Killinick in Co Wexford.

According to the ESB’s PowerCheck, 129 are also affected in Bealistown in Co Wexford, over 200 in Co Kerry’s Kilflynn and 65 customers in Cork’s Carrigshane.

In Co Waterford, where a taxi driver was injured by a falling tree last night, the public has been urged to exercise caution. 

Senior engineer Gabriel Hynes said ground crews are attending to a number of fallen trees and roads blocked as a result of yesterday’s Status Orange weather event. 

Hayes said: “While the worst of the weather has passed, the current thunderstorm warning is expected to bring some scattered thunderstorms and spells of rain, which could lead to localised and spot flooding. 

“These conditions combined with fallen branches and debris on the roads will make travel hazardous.”

He has advised motorists to avoid driving through floods and added that pavement and road surfaces may also be damaged beneath the flood waters.

Hayes also noted that Waterford City and County Council’s severe weather management team is monitoring the situation and Council ground crews are on stand-by to deal with any issues, such as localised flooding, blocked drains, and gulley overflows.

Elsewhere, a spokesperson from Kerry County Council told The Journal that there are currently no major issues in the county and that there has been no significant damage overnight.

“Our crews, who have been on standby and responding to issues since Tuesday morning, remain on standby and will address any problems which might arise today,” said the spokesperson. 

There were also no reports of significant impacts in Co Cork due to last night’s adverse weather.

Meanwhile, a Cork County Council spokesperson told The Journal that strong winds resulted in some fallen trees and debris on the roads, with 13 fallen trees reported to the council yesterday and overnight. 

Crews are responding to these as a priority but there are no reports of significant damage to property and high tides passed without incident.

And while heavy rainfall resulted in spot flooding, there is no major disruption on the network.

However, the spokesperson said road users should exercise care as there is lots of surface water.

River levels are also rising, but there are no immediate concerns and demountable flood barriers have been erected in both Mallow and Fermoy as a precautionary measure .

Cork Council crews are also on the ground across the county.

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