Friday 23 March 2018

People currently in work should 'stay where they are' - Taoiseach on Ophelia

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Transport Minister Shane Ross and junior minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran
Photo: Kevin Doyle
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Transport Minister Shane Ross and junior minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran Photo: Kevin Doyle
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

PEOPLE who have travelled to work today should "stay where they are", Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

Speaking after meeting the team planning for the fallout from the storm, Mr Varadkar warned that even when Ophelia passes it will not be safe outdoors.

 "Even when the storm has passed there will still be dangers," he said, noting that trees will be blocking roadways and powerlines will be done.

 The Taoiseach said there are four key pieces of advice at this stage:

 1. Stay indoors

 2. Check on your neighbours and elderly relatives

Storm scenes at Tramore Co. Waterford.
Picture Dylan Vaughan
Storm scenes at Tramore Co. Waterford. Picture Dylan Vaughan
Hurricane Ophelia hitting Fenit in County Kerry. Photo: Mark Condren
16/9/17 Gardai, the coastguard and the RNLI helicopter at Blackrock in Co Louth where windsurfers were surfing during storm Ophelia. Picture: Arthur Carron
16/10/2017 Ophelia arriving in Galway. Quick walk on the prom ahead of the Hurricane . Photo:Andrew Downes
16-10-17 Storm scenes at Tramore Co. Waterford. Picture Dylan Vaughan
Provision 161017 Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen tree Knocknaheeny, Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Ophelia Storm strikes in Baltimore, West Cork. Photo. Emma Jervis Photography
Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen trees, N25 Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Walkers in Clontarf pictured this afternoon as Hurricane Ophelia hits the country..Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A tree blocks the road at Killbritain Co Cork. Picture Denis Boyle
(Photo: Met Eireann)
A surfer is seen on rough water in the Atlantic in an area where the tide should be out in the County Clare town of Lahinch, Ireland October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Pictured getting ready for hurricane Ophelia at Courtmacsherry Bay West Cork was Martin Galvin and his son Adam. Their seaside home at Lobster Cottage sits in Courtmacsherry Bay with County Cork expected to be among the worst effected counties. Picture Denis Boyle
Angus Bourke from Castlebar, Co. Mayo a member of Mayo Sailing Club preparaing his boat at Rosmoney, Westport, Co. Mayo before Storm Ophelia. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus.
Met Eireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack at the National Emergency Coordination Centre today. Photo: Mark Condren

 3. Even if it seems calm now "it's coming your way"

 4. There will still be life-threatening dangers after the storm has abated.

 The National Emergency Co-ordination Group will meet three times today to update the national response

 It could be close to midnight before Ophelia clears the northern tip of the country.

 Mr Varadkar said the situation would be reviewed on an hourly basis.

 To date there are no reports of injury but around 22,000 homes are without power.

 ESB has lined up assistance from counterparts in the UK for the response. The Taoiseach said help will be forthcoming from Northern Ireland and Britain.

 Mr Varakar told reporters he had a concern that people think the storm may not be as bad as predicted.

 "People should stay indoors until the storm has passed," he repeated.

 OPW Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran told that he is particularly concerned about farmers who might feel the need to check on animals.

 He said they should not go out to a farm alone and should bring a mobile phone with them.

 "There is a risk of flood waters and powerlines being down," he said.

 Mr Moran said if the early scenes developing in Cork "ripple through the country then we're facing an awful problem".

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