Schools throughout West Cork will remain closed tomorrow with a Status Red weather warning issued for Cork, Kerry and Clare.
Major employers in the region have also ordered staff stay off site for the 24-hour duration of the Storm Barra which is set to hit from 6am, while all Bus Éireann services in Cork and Kerry will be suspended tomorrow.
A Yellow Rain Warning is also in place as the strong winds from Storm Barra are accompanied by heavy rain. Gusts of around 90km/hr are expected widely inland, with the strongest winds across southern and western areas where gust could reach 130km/hr or higher along coastal areas.
Status Orange alerts have been extended to Mayo, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Dublin, Meath and Louth. Boats have been taking shelter in Bantry harbour all day and the Coast Guard is appealing to all mariners and coastal communities to be mindful of the severe weather warning.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said this afternoon that ‘tomorrow will be a very, very difficult day from a storm perspective.’ ‘It’s very, very serious. We would urge people to stay at home, unless it’s necessary, in terms of travel in the counties concerned, to watch out for your weather alerts. I think it’s very important that we get the message out there to the public at large that we are dealing with a very, very serious storm in Storm Barra tomorrow and right into Wednesday,’ the Taoiseach said.
Meanwhile, the South / South West Hospital Group confirmed this afternoon that all planned inpatient and outpatient appointments and procedures in Cork University Hospital, Bantry General Hospital and Mallow General Hospital are cancelled tomorrow due to the Status Red weather warning.
'These appointments will be rescheduled as soon as possible.We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused due to this alert,' said a spokesperson.
Bus Éireann also confirmed that in the interests of the safety of their employees and customers, all Bus Éireann services, including School Transport services, in Cork and Kerry will be suspended for the full day on Tuesday, December 7th.
'This cancellation will also apply to all routes operating into or out of the status red warning area including Expressway services 13, 14, 40 and 51. Cancellations may be extended to other counties should the status red warning area be increased.This decision is taken in the interests of our customers and staff, and following careful consideration of the advice of agencies co-ordinating a response to Storm Barra,' said a spokesperson.
'We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will endeavour to recommence services earlier should the red weather warning be lifted earlier an expected. We will be advising customers of any further updates on www.buseireann.ie and on social media @buseireann and local and regional media will receive any updates. We expect services to resume on Wednesday and we regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers.'
- Issues such as fallen trees, flooding and road damage should be reported to the relevant local area office during working hours or via the Council’s Emergency Out of Hours number (021) 4800048. Contact details for the Council’s Area Offices are available at www.corkcoco.ieor by contacting Cork County Council Headquarters on (021) 4276891.
- The strong winds may give rise to localised power outages. In the event of a disruption to power supply, please contact ESB Networks at 1850 372999. Fallen or grounded wires should be avoided and the public are advised to call ESB in assisting with the identification of fallen wires.
- In the event of a disruption to water supply, contact Irish Water at 1850 278278.
- In the event of an emergency call 999 or 112 and request the Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Gardaí or Irish Coastguard as appropriate. DO NOT assume others will do this.
Cork County Council is urging people to pay particular attention to the following:
At Home – Before the Storm
Tie down loose items outside that cannot be brought in.
Have a torch, spare batteries and a battery radio ready
Stay indoors –and keep pets in.
Clear windowsills and close curtains to protect against flying glass.
If gas, electricity or water supplies are cut off, contact if possible the relevant services.
Keep in contact with family and neighbours especially people living alone.
At Home – After the Storm
As soon as it is safe, rope off or protect damaged areas to prevent injury from falling masonry, roof tiles or broken glass