Clean-up continuing after Storm Ophelia’s rampage

by Emma Nolan

STORM Ophelia ripped through the country on Monday, leaving a trail of devastation and taking three lives, with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown also feeling her wrath.

While Dublin may have gotten off relatively easy compared to other parts of Ireland, the widespread destruction caused by violent gusts of up to 150kmph caused several trees to become dangerously uprooted all across South Dublin, in addition to widespread debris scattered about the county’s roads and footpaths.

Approximately 216,000 electricity customers remained without power on Tuesday, with effectively the entire city and country shutting down on Monday to wait out the storm while the local authorities, Dublin Fire Brigade and homeless volunteers worked tirelessly to keep people safe across Dublin.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council had emergency crews on stand-by during the storm and rough sleepers in the area were asked to shelter at the Crosscare Community Cafe on Eblana Avenue in Dun Laoghaire.

The Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh was also praised for taking in homeless people for the day. Now that Ophelia has passed, work is ongoing across the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown to ensure the debris is removed and all roads are clear.

Calls have been made for greater preparation in the event that Dublin experiences such extreme weather again.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said that the positive public response to emergency messages helped to save lives and showed how we can work together in the face of such a natural disaster.

He said: “We should use that same spirit to tackle the cause of climate change and to prepare for the more extreme weather events we can now expect to come our way.

“We must now review the approaches and preparations to this storm, and ensure any lessons are learnt for future reference.”

The country is now bracing for Storm Brian at the weekend, although meteorologists have said Brian’s impact will be much less severe than Ophelia’s was.

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