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A number of bottle banks blown over by the wind during storm Barra at Spanish Point. Photograph by John Kelly.

Caution over travel in Clare urged as damage assessed

WHILE the worst of Storm Barra has passed, Clare’s local authority is appealing to the public to remain cautious about resuming travel in the county.

The possibility of trees being significantly weakened by the high gusts yesterday evening and falling later on today cannot be ruled out.

Due to the wind direction during the severe weather event, many trees will have been weakened, and further work may need to be carried out to remove such danger.

If members of the public come across any road hazards, they should report them to Clare County Council.

During the morning the Municipal District crews will be evaluating the damage to the roads/coastal infrastructure and carrying out works as necessary to remove the danger.

Fire crews attending an incident in Kilmaley

Fire Brigades across the county attended weather-related incidents from early Tuesday morning (06.50) until earlier today (04.30) dealing with fallen trees, cables, and property damage.

There were no reported accidents to the Fire Service during the Status Red alert.

During the Status Red, all Clare Fire and Rescue Service crews were on standby in their seven Fire Stations, and attended incidents based on risk assessment of the weather conditions at the time.

In all, they attended over 50 separate incidents across the county, ranging from branches and minor debris/corrugated sheeting to multiple trees blocking main routes. Throughout the night firefighters worked hard in ensuring that trees and debris were removed to ensure that routes remained accessible for the public and for emergency services.

There were power outages at some water treatment plants and standby generators had to be used.

The weather conditions led to localised flooding and local road closures.

Road users should exercise extreme caution and be vigilant for any fallen trees and debris on roads, as well as the possibility of localised flash flooding.

The public are warned electricity wires are always live, never approach. If you see fallen or damaged wires, keep clear and phone ESB Networks immediately on 1800-372999/021-2382410.

The widespread compliance with the ‘stay at home’ Status Red alert in Clare during the Status Red alert undoubtedly saved lives given the extent of fallen trees and flying debris around the county. The closing of schools and businesses, together with the safety messaging both locally and nationally, greatly helped to shape people’s reaction to the seriousness of yesterday’s weather event.

As part of Clare County Council’s recovery planning for this event, the Council extended its emergency call handling, with reported damage being captured during the evening and night, for distribution to the Municipal Districts early this morning. A full assessment of damage is being carried out.

Clare County Council will be monitoring the situation for any changes in the weather forecast and will issue further updates. In addition, please check Met Éireann for updates.

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