Schools closed across the county due to severe storm warning. Public urged to stay indoors and avoid travel.
Kerry County Council and the Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team are very strongly reminding members of the public to remain indoors this afternoon and not to travel due to the extremely dangerous and hazardous conditions caused by Storm Barra continue.
The Council is advising that wind speeds will increase significantly over the coming hours as the storm reaches its peak.
The Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team – including Kerry County Council, the HSE, An Garda Síochána, Kerry Fire Service and Kerry Civil Defence – continues to coordinate the response to the storm and reminds everyone that a Status RED weather warning, the highest such warning, remains in place for Kerry.
There are a significant number of roads closed or blocked by fallen trees, fallen electricity poles and flooding. Council crews will only be able to respond to issues when it is safe to do so.
Members of the public should not, under any circumstances approach fallen trees or fallen power lines.
Trees are down and blocking (or partially blocking) roads at the N70 Tralee to Castlemaine Road (near hairpin bends), at the N70 Farmers Bridge road, at the N21 Near O’Riada’s Bar, at the N71 Port Road, Killarney, at the N69 Cahirdown at the R523 Athea road and at the N70 Carhan, Cahersiveen. Trees are also down in on N71 at Gortamullen and on the Roughty Road in Kenmare. There is also a Tree down 3km west of Killaha on Castletownbere Road. There have been further reports of trees down on Loughguittane National Schoool and at Brookhill in Kilgobnet.
The N71 road in Kenmare at the Suspension Bridge is impassable as is the pier road. Flooding at Godfrey’s place and Princes Quay in Tralee has now receded while there is also flooding on the Fossa road in Killarney.
An outdoor dining area has also been damaged at the back of the Arbutus Hotel in Killarney in the Fair Field Car Park due to gale force winds.
There are some power outages across the county including in Milltown which is affecting more than 2,000 customers and Castleisland which is affecting more than 300 customers. There is also an outage at Killarney at Coolcorcoran which has affected more than 80 customers, Gurranebane in Waterville which has affected more than 100 customers as well as minor power outages in Kilgarvan and Kenmare and Inch.
Kerry County Council has initiated its Severe Weather Emergency Plan and is fully engaged in preparing for Storm Barra given the potential for fallen trees, power outages, damage to property and coastal flooding across the county on Tuesday and into Wednesday.
HSE services in Kerry have also been affected. The South/South West Hospital Group (S/SWHG) is advising that all elective inpatient and outpatient appointments and procedures at University Hospital Kerry are cancelled tomorrow with the exception of time critical cases. All Covid-19 vaccination centres and test centres in Cork and Kerry will also be closed tomorrow as is Kerry’s Covid Test Centre.
Bus Éireann have also advised that all bus services in Kerry are cancelled into and out of the county of the status red warning area including Expressway services 13, 14, 40 and 51 and school transport. Train services are operating but at a reduced speed with delays given the weather.
The Department of Housing has confirmed that, due to the current Status Red Wind warning in place for Counties Cork and Kerry from 6am to 9pm, Killarney National Park and Muckross House will be closed to the public on Tuesday, December 7.
The Department strongly advises the public to refrain from visiting its sites for the duration of the weather event due to the severe risks associated with falling trees or potential damage from falling masonry or slates from buildings. The Department will carry out site inspections on Wednesday to assess any potential damage or risk to the public prior to reopening any of the above sites.
In a statement, Met Éireann said that wind speeds will reach up to 130km/h.
“Southwesterly winds later veering northwesterly will reach mean speeds in excess of 80 km/h with severe or damaging gusts in excess of 30km/h. Due to a combination of high waves, storm surge and high tide, coastal flooding is expected. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” the statement read.
Kerry County Council also advises that items of property which are vulnerable to high winds – such as bins; trampolines; Christmas decorations and lights; and hoarding/fencing or similar items – should be secured and stored away. Tents, marquees and any other temporary outdoor structures should be secured or stored away.
Because of the likelihood of power outages, householders are urged to charge mobile phones and torches and to check in with elderly or vulnerable neighbours today to ensure they are prepared for the storm.
Sandbags are being deployed to areas where there may be a known flooding impact, in line with established procedures and with the assistance of the Kerry Civil Defence.
Public offices and libraries, as well as public parks and amenities, will be closed to public access on Tuesday. Kerry County Council can be contacted in the normal way (for non-weather matters) on 066 718 3500 and email@example.com.
The Council’s emergency contact number is 066 7183588 and it will be operational through this evening and tonight. Fallen electricity wires/poles and power outages should be reported to ESB Networks on 1800 372 999.