Country braces for Storm Brian as crews battle to restore power

Flooding on the road into Riverstown, Co Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

With thousands of people still without power and water due to Storm Ophelia, the country must now brace itself for 130km/h winds courtesy of Storm Brian.

Met Éireann has put orange weather alerts in place for seven counties for tomorrow — Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Clare, Mayo, Galway, and Wexford. With the strong winds comes the potential for significant flooding, particularly in coastal areas.

Yesterday, the country was hit by torrential downpours, followed by strong winds, which led to spot flooding in a number of areas in the south. Despite those dreadful conditions the ESB, with the help of a team of almost 3,800 — 2,500 staff, 1,000 contractors, and 250 crew from the North — has now managed to restore power to more than 340,000 homes and businesses.

Nonetheless, 50,000 ESB customers were still without power — the majority in Cork. And it is forecast that, in Cork, Tipperary, and Kerry, a small number of customers may not get their power back until early next week.

According to the Government’s National Emergency Coordination Group on Severe Weather, water has now been restored to more than 101,000 customers — at one point 109,000 customers were without supply.

Homeowners and businesses in low-lying areas in four Co Cork towns are now being warned to secure their buildings as high tides are likely to cause flooding when they peak at around 6pm this evening.

Cork County Council crews and Civil Defence units will be on standby in Bantry, Clonakilty, Youghal, and Midleton to help with the operation.

The Defence Forces has engineering and transport units which will also be ready to be deployed should they be needed to bolster local authority personnel in both the city and county.

County council depots will open this morning to supply sandbags to people in the four towns expected to be hit.

Flooding on Centre Park Road, Cork, yesterday as the country prepared for wet weather and stormy conditions with the arrival of Brian. Picture: Larry Cummins
Flooding on Centre Park Road, Cork, yesterday as the country prepared for wet weather and stormy conditions with the arrival of Brian. Picture: Larry Cummins

In Cork City, there is a minor risk of flooding at Morrison’s Island, South Terrace, and Wandesford Quay from 5.30pm to 7.30pm due to high tides.

Motorists experienced travel chaos last night as many roads in and around Cork City, Cobh, Midleton, and Mallow flooded. Severe flooding was also reported on roads in the Castlemartyr area and on the Youghal bypass and in several rural parts of West Cork.

Council crews battled to free drains and gulleys to alleviate the situation.

Meanwhile, contractors had to a cut up a large number of trees which had fallen into the swollen Glashaboy River, in Glanmire, to prevent bridges being clogged with debris, in the hope of preventing a repeat of June 2012 flooding which severely damaged nearly 80 homes and businesses in the area, many of which are now uninsured.

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