Three people die as Storm Ophelia moves across the country

Taoiseach urges public to consider vulnerable neighbours and stay indoors

Three people die as Storm Ophelia moves across the country

Image via @MetEireann on Twitter

Updated: 22.00

Three people have been killed in separate incidents as Storm Ophelia made its way across the country.

The latest accident happened in Dundalk in Co Louth on Monday afternoon.

A man was killed after a tree fell on their car in Ravensdale just before 3.00pm.

While separately, gardaí say a man died in Tipperary after being seriously injured with a chain saw.

That incident that happened at Ballybrado, Cahir at approximately 12.30pm.

The man aged in his early 30s was fatally injured while in the course of clearing a fallen tree.

His body has been removed to Clonmel Hospital.

Meanwhile gardaí say a woman died in Waterford after her car was struck by a tree.

The woman aged is her 50s was fatally injured when the car she was driving was struck by a falling tree.

The accident happened outside Aglish village in Co Waterford at 11:40am on Monday morning morning.

A female passenger in her 70s was also injured and has been taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

'Winds dissipating'

Hurricane force winds have passed over Ireland, but severe winds remain.

Evelyn Cusack from Met Éireann says the most severe gales are dissipating.

"The strong winds have transferred northwards but the severe winds are gone - so we're back to more normal, just 100 to 120 km/h.

"It's really waning so between now and 10 or 11 o'clock it should be really gone", she said.


Jim Casey from the OPW says there is still a risk of storm surges near coasts.

"Storm surges and severe wave conditions still pose a threat to the east coast - in particular the Dublin-Fingal coastlines and the north-east coast, particularly Co Louth".

 According to the ESB around 330,000 homes and businesses are without power.


While all schools across the country are also to remain closed on Tuesday.

The National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) has reiterated that there is a status red weather warning currently in place for the entire country.

"This event is unprecedented with serious life threatening conditions and all unnecessary travel should be avoided while the storm is passing. Do not be outside during the passing of the storm," it adds.

People are being asked not to travel during the height of the storm, and take due care when travelling in post-storm periods, as there could be debris - including fallen trees on the roads.

High seas are also predicted, with the potential for localised coastal flooding.

Gardaí have urged all road users to remain indoors and not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Met Éireann says Storm Ophelia "gave violent and destructive winds" over Munster and south Leinster earlier.


The forecaster says a swathe of severe southwest winds moved over parts of Clare, and went northwards through Connacht and the west Midlands. 

The strongest winds are on the eastern and southern flank of Ophelia’s low pressure centre.

The heaviest rain is on the northwestern and western flank.

To the east of the path of the storm centre winds will back southeasterly ahead of its passage north, veering southwesterly behind it. Winds will be cyclonic along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Strongest gusts to date:

  • 191km/h at Fastnet Rock (6.5km SW of Cape Clear Co. Cork, at a height of 200ft)
  • 156km/h at Roches Point
  • 135km/h at Sherkin Island (before the weather station lost power)
  • 126km/h at Cork Airport (before a loss of power)
  • 122km/h at Shannon Airport

Rainfall:

  • 17mm at Valentia, including 9mm in one hour
  • 17mm at Mace Head, including 8mm in the past hour

Transport

Bus Éireann has cancelled all services nationwide for the remainder of the day.

Iarnród Éireann has cancelled all services since 2.00pm.

All services into and out of Connolly Station are suspended, as well as services into and out of Heuston. Irish Rail says no services will operate until further notice.

The last DART service ran at 2.00pm, all Commuter and Intercity services also ceased from 2.00pm.

Dublin Bus has cancelled all services until Tuesday morning at the earliest.

The Luas Red and Green Line services in the capital will not run on Tuesday morning - but this will be reviewed at midday.

Dublin Airport is "open and operational" – however up to 135 flights to and from the airport have been cancelled.

Disruption is also affecting services at Cork and Shannon Airports.

Passengers are being advised to check with their airline in advance of travel to/from the airports.

Aer Lingus, Ryanair, British Airways, Air France, CityJet, Emirates, Qatar Airways and KLM have all cancelled some services today. The airlines in question have contacted passengers directly in relation to any services that have been affected.

AA Roadwatch has warned people against driving unless they absolutely have to.

National Emergency Coordination Group

The National Emergency Coordination Group has advised members of the public to stay at home today where possible.

A level red weather warning was extended countrywide with hurricane force winds expected in every county.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said people have heeded the warnings from State agencies so far.

He has this advice for people worried about whether they should go to work or not:

"People paid by the State - they will continue to be paid today," he said.

"When it comes to the private sector, a lot of people can work from home and if they can work from home, they should do so.

"Obviously it will be up to individual employers to decide whether the people who missed work are paid or not."

Hurricane Ophelia batters Kinsale as debris litters the streets | Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has warned that all national parks and reserves should be avoided until further notice.

“Heavy rainfall is expected and there will be a risk of injury from falling trees and wind-blown debris,” the department said in a statement.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann