Fears for trees in national park

Schools, colleges, civic sites, and Killarney National Park were all closed this morning in advance of Ophelia reaching Kerry ahead of the rest of the country.

“It is envisaged that there will be significant damage caused by winds, especially in terms of fallen branches and trees, with the additional issues surrounding loss of electricity to a substantial number of homes and businesses,” Kerry County Council said in a statement.

“People should make appropriate arrangements with an expectation that electricity outages could last a number of days.”

While there is no evacuation policy, there were reports that the vulnerable in low-lying coastal areas were taking it upon themselves or were being advised to find alternative accommodation The county has more than 1,000km of coastline.

Sandbags were being distributed in coastal areas to prevent flooding and in some of the most flood-prone areas such as Kenmare in the south and Ballylongford in the north.

Killarney National Park, which lost hundreds of mature trees in storm Darwin in 2014, is asking people to stay away because of the risk of falling trees and flying branches. Giant trees fell in swathes in 2014 and park management is fearful of further treefall today.

There is an emergency number, 066 7183588, where the assistance of Kerry County Council is required.


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