THE clean up operation in the wake of storm Ophelia started yesterday evening with Cork County Council crews already tending to blocked roads, fallen trees and the removal of debris.
The recovery works were prioritised by the Council's Crisis Management Team which met throughout the day yesterday and is meeting again this morning. Crews were deployed across the county as soon as it was safe to do so, and crews continued their work as late as possible into the evening with the last of the crews returning to base around 10pm.
The remedial works and repairs were prioritised primarily around National and Regional roads, with crews having resumed work at first light this morning. A series of road closures occurred right across the county due to fallen trees and debris blocking roads. A significant number of roads were impassable, while others were passable with care.
'Our advice to motorists and road users is to travel with care. Many roads are still blocked and in some cases the Council may not be aware that they are blocked. This is especially true of local roads,' said Council chief executive Tim Lucey.
'I would encourage people to notify us of any roads that are blocked. People can do so by calling our emergency report line at (021)4800048. We will continue to identifyand prioritise jobs throughout the day. Our priority at all times will be to ensure the safety of the public and of staff. Contractors have been called in to support Council crews to ensure that the job gets done as quickly as possible so as to ensure that people can go about their daily lives again.'
Mr Lucey advised people to check the Council's Twitter account @Corkcoco and its website www.corkcoco.ie for continuous real-time updates as reports come to hand.
'Our focus has moved from crisis management to the clean-up and restoration operation. Cork County Council will be doing everything in its power to ensure that the inconvenienced to the public is minimized during the clean-up operation.'
The Council is also this morning carrying out an assessment of towns and villages affected, and will over the coming days facilitate any cleanups required. All Council offices are open for business as usual today.