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A council crew busy removing a large tree which fell across the road between Kilrush and Knockerra (R473) during Storm Franklin. Photograph by John Kelly

‘Orange’ storm keeps Clare crews busier than ‘red’ one

Champion Chatter

WHILE Clare was under a red alert for a number of hours last Friday morning, the damage wasn’t as bad as had been feared, but on Sunday Storm Franklin caused more problems than had been expected, writes Owen Ryan.

There was an orange order in place in the county for much of the day, and Cormac Falvey of the county’s fire service said that there had been a number of calls, although there was little structural damage.

“There was nothing special really, there were 20 storm related calls from 10am on Sunday until 1am on Monday. The peak of that was from 17.00 and 19.00. I think all bar two of those were down to trees down, the other two were down to poles down on roads.”

A Bottle recycling bank which was blown across a car park in Kilkee during Storm Franklin, shedding its contents along the way. Photography by John Kelly
A bird, killed by a large tree, which fell across the road between Kilrush and Knockerra (R473) during Storm Franklin, is seen as a council digger removes the road blockage.

While storms often hit coastal areas hardest, that wasn’t the case on Sunday with inland areas suffering more of the damage.

“There were five different stations mobilised down over the course of the day. They’d deal with a tree and in some cases there’d be another one waiting for them when they were finished.

“Particularly for Scariff, there was a very busy spell there around 6pm. It was spread throughout the county, all the way from the west to the east.”

He said the fire service only had a handful of calls following Eunice, but Franklin had been more challenging.

“From the point of view of the brigade being busy, it was. Storm Eunice, had it come 20 miles further inland, it would have been a different scenario. Its biggest impact was to coastal areas. Storm Franklin covered the whole county and it was of a much longer duration so that’s why it had more impact on trees.” 

North Clare-based Councillor Joe Garrihy said that while the storms hadn’t done a huge amount of damage, he feels that precautions taken by local people had helped.

“There wasn’t an enormous impact, there were bits of  trees and bits of debris around the place, it made driving conditions difficult, but we were fortunate in terms of damage around the area, there wasn’t an enormous amount done, just small bits and pieces.

“I think people have got in the habit of taking precautions now. Sunday seemed to be actually worse than last Friday (when there had been a red alert) but all in all it helps keep people cautious, they tie things down, go around and check things before it happens. I think that’s contributing an awful lot to the damage limitation.”

Electricity Crews working in Doonbeg village after Storm Eunice.

In the east of the county, Councillor Pat Burke said that there had been a number of trees down close to his home, but overall things could have been worse.

“There were a couple of incidences of trees down, I didn’t hear of any instances of structural damage or anything like that.

“I was on a tractor myself to take a few trees of the road on Sunday evening around seven or eight o’clock, it was bad enough, but no major incidents.”

On Monday, the Council said it expected to have finished its response by the end of the day.

“Council crews were out in all areas dealing with a range of issues from localised flooding, debris & trees on roads, and to wash up on roads in coastal areas. Most of the clean-up operation will be completed by close of work today, Monday.”

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