Some schools will remain closed on Wednesday as Storma Barra blows up Ireland


Schools in areas worst affected by Storm Barra will remain closed in Ireland on Wednesday as strong winds continue to cause damage across the country.

With warnings remaining in place until Wednesday and thousands without power, people are being warned to be cautious in the face of the storm.

The Education Ministry confirmed on Tuesday evening that any school currently or expected to be in a red or orange alert zone should remain closed on Wednesday.

The order covers several counties including Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cork and Kerry.

It also covers Waterford, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Wexford.

The same notice was sent to universities, colleges and higher education establishments, as well as to day care centers and nurseries.

A red wind warning is in place for Cork and Kerry until 9 p.m. Tuesday, while the red warning for Clare will last until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The orange warnings will remain in place for counties across the country until tomorrow morning.

On Tuesday evening, a cool orange wind warning was issued for Dublin from 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning and until 7 a.m. the same day.

Met Eireann warned the county could see gusts of over 110 km / h, along with the risk of flooding.

The Education Department confirmed on Tuesday evening that schools in Dublin will now remain closed on Wednesday.

About 38,000 homes remained without power in the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday evening and some could go without reconnection for several days, after the country was hit by winds reaching 130 km / h.

In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, ESB said: “Crews continue to work late into the night to restore power, where it is safe to do so, to as many customers as possible.

“Unfortunately, some customers will be left without power overnight.”

The Defense Forces were enlisted for “extended recovery operations” to clear debris and damage from the storm.

Officials and businesses had to count the damage on Tuesday evening, amid warnings that strong winds will persist until Wednesday.

Gardai attended the scene of an overturned truck on the M8, while fallen trees were reported across the country.

Business owners in Bantry, County Cork, have previously fought to keep floodwater from entering properties while firefighters pumped out water.

Officials said as Storm Barra moves east away from Ireland on Wednesday morning, the stronger winds will ease, but the day will remain blustery with a yellow wind warning and of rain in place until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Met Eireann meteorologist Liz Walsh said the winds would not abate completely until “late tomorrow afternoon.”

She added: “Very strong winds combined with high tides mean that there is a continued risk of large coastal waves and coastal flooding, especially along the southern and western parts of the country.

“Driving conditions will remain delicate and dangerous at times, with the risk of fallen trees, fallen power lines and occasional flooding from heavy rains.

“Temporary outdoor structures will be particularly vulnerable to expected gusts of wind.

“We advise the public to listen to their local travel tips and keep a close eye on the Met Eireann’s forecasts and warnings as they may be out of date.

“As the heaviest rains have cleared, heavy and windy showers are forecast for today and tomorrow and some of it will be a wintry mix of sleet, snow and hail – along with the strong winds this will make driving conditions difficult with reduced visibility on the road. “

Cork County Council and ESB employees help clear the road and restore power in Timoleague, West Cork (Andy Gibson / PA)

Earlier, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien warned: “We’re only halfway through. Winds can increase and are expected to do so later in the day and into the evening.

“Not that there is a feeling of complacency. The public reacted very well, but just to be on guard.

“I think people should be on guard today and tonight.”

After making landfall on Tuesday morning, Storm Barra caused flooding in the south of the country, particularly parts of Co Cork.

The impacts included flooding 23 premises in Bantry, County Cork, other properties in Galway City and Cork City.

Emergency financial supports must be put in place for businesses damaged by Storm Barra, which will not be impacted by supports in place for people affected by Covid-19 restrictions.

Sandbags are piled up in the town of Bantry, County Cork, which suffered flooding after Storm Barra (Andy Gibson / PA)
Sandbags are piled up in the town of Bantry, County Cork, which suffered flooding after Storm Barra (Andy Gibson / PA)

Minister O’Brien had asked residents of the red and orange zones on Tuesday not to travel to be vaccinated.

“We are telling these people, especially in the red zones, to stay at home, not to leave their homes and not to make unnecessary trips to other areas,” he said.

“The reality is that a day, or a day and a half, won’t have a substantial impact on what we need to do, in terms of our recall program.”

Information on any further vaccination and testing center closures will be provided on the HSE website and on social media.

Keith Leonard, chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Group, had previously urged people to keep their cell phones charged in an emergency.

He said: “People should remember to keep their cell phones charged, because there are going to be major power cuts across the country today.

“And if you need emergency services, call 999 and 112.

“Even if your cell phone is not showing coverage, there is a good chance that you will be picked up by certain signals.

“Today there will be disruptions in telecommunications networks across the country. “

Firefighters pump floodwaters in Bantry, County Cork, after Storm Barra hit the UK and Ireland with disruptive winds, heavy rain and snow.  (Andy Gibson / AP)
Firefighters pump floodwaters in Bantry, County Cork, after Storm Barra hit the UK and Ireland with disruptive winds, heavy rain and snow. (Andy Gibson / AP)

In Northern Ireland, at one point on Tuesday afternoon, more than 5,000 homes and businesses were without power.

By 3:30 p.m., the number of customers without electricity had fallen to 3,500.

Gusts of 76 mph at Orlock Head in County Down and 71 mph at Magilligan in County Londonderry, among the strongest in the UK, have been recorded by the Met Office.

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