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A quiet Parnell street in Ennis as the public heed warnings on public safety ahead of storm Ophelia. Photograph by John Kelly.

Banner on red alert over Hurricane Ophelia

 

Clare remains on red alert as emergency services finalise preparations for the impact of Hurricane Ophelia.

Mean wind speeds in excess of 80 kilometres per hour and gusts in excess of 130 kilometres per hour are expected, potentially causing structural damage and disruption, with dangerous marine conditions due to high seas and potential flooding.

Hurricane conditions may last until midnight, according to the weather forecast.

Gale-force winds are expected to begin across southern parts by early Monday morning and gradually spread northwards across the country during the day.

Hurricane-force winds are expected to reach southern coastal counties by late Monday morning with storm force winds spreading inland and northwards across the country during Monday.

Preparations to protect lives and property should be taken if possible.

Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30 percent stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in weather arnings and in some elevated locations could be even greater.

Ophelia is expected to produce rainfall amounts up to 50mm in parts of the west with isolated totals above 50mm in elevated areas of the south and west. Across eastern Ireland, rainfall amounts will likely average less than 30mm.

A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the centre of the post-tropical cyclone makes landfall.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education and Skills has publicly informed all schools, colleges and other education institutions that they are to remain closed on Monday.

This decision has been made following discussions with members of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and in light of the advice from Met Éireann on this unprecedented storm.

 

Dan Danaher

A quiet O Connell square in Ennis as the public heed warnings on public safety ahead of storm Ophelia. Photograph by John Kelly.
A sign on a closed shop in Ennis as the public and business people alike take heed on warnings about public safety ahead of storm Ophelia. Photograph by John Kelly.

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