Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Disruption to milk collection expected as farmers brace for hurricane

Farmers warned to wait until the storm abates to check livestock

Ferrying neighbours through the floods at Mukanagh, Athlone in 2015. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Ferrying neighbours through the floods at Mukanagh, Athlone in 2015. Picture: Fergal Phillips
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Farmers across the country are bracing for extreme weather this morning as storm Ophelia moves across the country.

Although the weather phenomenon is now officially classed as an ex-hurricane, Met Éireann have explained that although the conditions of the hurricane have changed, the power of the wind will not have changed when it hits Ireland.

Ophelia has been classed as a post-tropical cyclone but she is expected to bring hurricane force winds to Ireland from 9am.

Ireland’s largest milk processor Glanbia has warned that the weather conditions may cause some disruption to milk collection in some areas over next 24 hours.

Farmers have been warned to ensure that any equipment they have is secured.

Coillte would like to remind the public to be vigilant for fallen trees and to contact emergency services if any roads or access routes are blocked by fallen trees.

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has urged farmers, fishermen and people in rural areas to be extra vigilant and take precautions.

The Minister was speaking after the Committee on Emergency Planning meeting this morning at which his Department was represented.

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Commenting the Minister said urged farmers and all people in rural areas to ensure that they are ready for the approaching storm and ask them to follow closely the advice of the authorities particularly for those in the worst affected Counties.

“Priority is obviously the safety of people and I would reiterate the advice that only essential travel should be taken. For farmers they should ensure that their yards are secured by securing loose objects".

Latest guidance from the National Hurricane Centre.
Bear in mind times shown are AST so add 5 hours.
Latest guidance from the National Hurricane Centre. Bear in mind times shown are AST so add 5 hours.

The Minister also reminded landowners of the dangers of fallen trees in particular the impact this can have on electric wires. The assessment of damage in such circumstances should only be carried by appropriately trained professionals from the electricity companies.

Shed doors should be securely fastened and older slat roofs sheds avoided.

If you have to check on livestock, bring a family member or neighbour and in more exposed and remote areas, wait until the storm abates.

The Minister also asked people to check on elderly neighbours in rural areas and importantly avoid any risks. Fishermen should take particular care as the force of the storm will be felt most along the western coastline.

Met Éireann 's website currently reads; "A STATUS RED WARNING IS IN OPERATION COUNTRYWIDE FOR TODAY."

They have forecast that today will be stormy with spells of heavy rain and widespread gales.

"Winds mainly from the southeast during the morning will give some severe and damaging gusts, before veering southwest later," the forecast reads.

"Some violent gusts between 120 and 140 km/h, and storm surges near coasts may give local flooding."

The ex-hurricane is due to hit the south and south-west of the country at approximately 9am. It will travel upwards through the country, hitting the south-east by noon.


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