West Cork braced for approaching Storm #Ophelia

Cork County Council have issued emergency weather advice in light of the approaching Storm Ophelia due to strike the West Cork coast on Monday morning.

The storm, previously a hurricane is expected to make landfall on Monday and could be the worst storm to hit the west coast in 50 years. Schools across the county will be closed as will UCC.

Current projections suggest West Cork will see among the worst effects as the post-tropical storm makes landfall and according to Met Éireann it could be more damaging than Hurricane Debbie in 1961 that resulted in 11 fatalities.

Winds are expected to reach sustained speeds of 80 km/h gusting to 130 km/h. Swells at sea are likely to be severe and people are strongly advised to stay away from the coast; local flooding is also likely as are power outages.

For information on power cuts see https://www.esb.ie/esb-networks/powercheck/

Cork County Council has activated its Severe Weather Plan. The Council’s Chief Executive, Tim Lucey, has issued the following statement:

“Cork County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team has convened on a number of occasions since Saturday morning in response to the Level Red Weather Warning (for wind) issued by Met Eireann. The Council’s team has assessed the information and has activated its severe weather plan. This has triggered a range of immediate actions, including the convening of the Council’s high level Crisis Management Team which will steer and direct the nature of the response on a countywide basis”.

Engineering staff and outdoor response crews have been put on notice and are on standby, while the Council’s emergency services are also ready and available to respond. The entire Cork County area is subject to the Level Red wind warning with the worst of the weather expected during the course of Monday afternoon (16th October).

The Council is contactable at the following numbers:

Outside of normal business hours (“out of hours”): emergency issues should be reported to 021 480 0048.

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm: contact your local Council office, or alternatively contact the “out of hours” number above (for emergency issues)

In the event of disruption to water supplies, contact Irish Water at 1850 278 278.

The Council will continue to monitor the situation over the coming hours and will take action as appropriate. Regular updates will be posted on the Council’s website www.corkcoco.ie, as well as on the Council’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In the meantime, people are urged to pay particular attention to the following:

Travel

·         Avoid all unnecessary travel

·         Avoid coastal area such as cliffs, piers and harbours

·         Do not drive through floods.

·         Follow the instructions of the Emergency Services

At Home – Before the Storm

·         Tie down loose items outside that cannot be brought in.

·         If time allows, shop nearby for essential food items such as dry foods and drinks,

·         Have a torch, spare batteries and a battery radio ready

·         Stay indoors – preferably downstairs – and keep pets in.

·         Clear windowsills and close curtains to protect against flying glass.

·         If gas, electricity or water supplies are cut off, contact if possible the relevant services.

·         Keep in contact with family and neighbours especially people living alone.

At Home – After the Storm

·         As soon as it is safe, rope off or protect damaged areas to prevent injury from falling masonry, roof tiles or broken glass

Keep the items listed below in your home so they can become your emergency kit for use in all types of emergencies:

·         Battery-operated radio (with spare batteries).

·         Torch (with spare batteries)

·         First-Aid kit and manual.

·         Medications e.g., asthma inhalers, toiletry and sanitary supplies.

·         Consider the needs of infants, the aged and people with disabilities.

·         A mobile phone, spare battery and charger.

·         Extra car and house keys.

·         Copies of important family documents e.g. your insurance files etc.

In the event of an emergency

Call 999 or 112 and request the Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Gardaí or Irish Coastguard as appropriate.

DO NOT assume others will do this.

Further information and updates can be obtained from Met Eireann     www.met.ie

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