This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
Advertisement

School closures, power outages and widespread disruptions: How Ophelia will affect Ireland today

As Ophelia clears off to the north, the cleanup begins.

As tree after falling down on a apartment block on Cylde Road, Ballsbridge.
As tree after falling down on a apartment block on Cylde Road, Ballsbridge.
Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated at 9am 

PEOPLE ACROSS THE country are waking up to survey the damage after Storm Ophelia blew across the country yesterday.

The storm left a trail of damage and destruction in its wake. Tragically, three lives were also lost over the course of yesterday as a result.

While the worst might be over in many areas, people will now have to deal with the fallout and the damage Ophelia has left behind.

Here’s what you need to know this morning:

Electricity 

The electricity grid was one of the worst hit areas during the storm, with in the region of 360,000 customers left without electricity at the peak of Ophelia’s powers.

As of this morning, some 245,000 were still off the grid.

ESB Networks has warned affected customers that many will still be without electricity this morning and for the coming days.

“The majority of customers who have lost supply at present will be without power tonight and over a number of days,” the provider said in a statement.

People are being told to prepare to be without electricity for a number of days. An ESB spokesperson said that about 10% of affected customers (around 3,600) could be without electricity for up to 10 days.

You can check on power outages in your area using the ESB Power Checker here.

Travel 

The majority of transport operators cancelled travel services yesterday morning and afternoon and did not resume yesterday evening.

In Dublin, Luas services will not run this morning on either line. This is due to a technical room being damaged in the storm. Luas said it cannot say when power will be restored and will provide an update at noon.

Dublin Bus and Irish Rail services have resumed this morning after being cancelled yesterday.

Irish Rail announced that a number of routes would be cancelled or operating at a reduced service.

Bus Éireann services (with the exception of the school bus service) also resumed this morning.

However, there are some restrictions to the national bus service – the company is posting updates on its Twitter account.

In terms of flights, there were widespread cancellations yesterday to both inbound and outbound flights to and from all of Ireland’s main airports.

Over 160 flights were cancelled at Dublin Airport alone yesterday. According to the airport’s departures list, a small number of flights are also cancelled this morning.

Cork Airport said there would likely be delays and possible cancellations tooday, as airlines reschedule and assess the situation.

People are told to check with their airline about the status of their flight.

In terms of driving, AA Roadwatch warned motorists travelling to work today to remain vigilant and drive carefully.

“While the storm may have passed over us much of the damage it caused will still be visible for the next 24-48 hours so it’s important that motorists check for updates on their routes before they depart, allow extra travel time and exercise additional caution,” a spokesperson said yesterday.

The clean up and insurance

As the damage to properties and buildings is assessed in the wake of Ophelia, people will be wondering about what funds or assistance is available to them and if they will be able make insurance claims.

We’ve given a breakdown of what you can do to claim if your home property was damaged over the course of the storm.

The Irish Claims Consultants Association said insurance companies will “deploy all available resources to assess the damage as claims are notified”.

Meanwhile, Fora.ie has given a breakdown on what businesses who were affected by the storm can do to claim insurance.

According to the country’s largest insurance body, Insurance Ireland, business insurance policies will cover storm damage, however record-keeping is important.

In terms of state supports for people affected, Junior Defence Minister Paul Kehoe spoke on RTÉ’s Drivetime programme yesterday evening about what was being done.

“The number one priority is the safety of the citizen and tomorrow we will be looking at the fallout of the weather conditions of the past 24 hours,” he said.

That is something that the government will evaluate with all the agencies and with the local authorities. Work will have to be prioritised here.

Disruptions, cancellations and closures

The majority of state services will be back up and running this morning following the storm.

All schools are to remain closed, however. The Department of Education said this decision was primarily due to ensuring child safety.

It is recognised that this would have an impact on working families.

“However this decision has been taken in the interest of safety for children and to provide clarity to everyone concerned,” a spokesperson said.

This doesn’t extend to all universities and colleges, with opening down to each institution’s discretion.

Students and staff are advised to check with their own third-level education institution about opening.

In terms of health services, the HSE has said it hopes to “restore all hospital services over the coming days”.

Outpatient services should be fully available today, but some elective (non-emergency) surgeries will be cancelled. Urgent procedures will be prioritised.

If your appointment was cancelled, you will be contacted to arrange a new one. The latest updates from the HSE can be found here.

Retail outlets and other services are expected to return to normal too.

Meanwhile, National Parks and Reserves will remain closed to the public as safety officers conduct checks.

Coillte forests are also closed for the day. According to a spokesperson:

All Coillte Forests will remain closed to recreational users and the general public today, Tuesday 17 October, while forest workers and contractors commence the assessment of the damage caused by Storm Ophelia to recreational areas. A further update on when the forests are expected to open to the public will be issued later this afternoon.
Fallen and overhanging trees pose an extremely dangerous risk  to the public and Coillte is urging everyone to remain vigilant over the coming days. Members of the public should not approach fallen or overhanging trees as they pose a significant health and safety risk and access routes blocked by trees should only be cleared by trained experts.

- With reporting by Daragh Brophy 

Read Ophelia has been quite literally ripping the roof off Ireland for the past 12 hours

Read: Ophelia transport update: No buses or trains in the country until tomorrow at the earliest

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

Read next:

COMMENTS (25)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel