Cork activist implores people to be 'more vigilant' of the elderly as storm approaches

It comes as Met Éireann this afternoon upgraded the wind warning for Cork to a status red ahead of the arrival of Storm Barra.
Cork activist implores people to be 'more vigilant' of the elderly as storm approaches

Ahead of the onset of Storm Barra, activist for the elderly and organiser of the well-known Over 60s Talent Competition, Paddy O’Brien has implored people to be “more vigilant” of vulnerable elderly people. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Update 9:15pm - Ahead of the onset of Storm Barra, activist for the elderly and organiser of the well-known Over 60s Talent Competition, Paddy O’Brien has implored people to be “more vigilant” of vulnerable elderly people. 

Speaking to The Echo, Mr O’Brien said that elderly people were feeling apprehensive ahead of the storm and asked that people would make sure their older neighbours and relatives have adequate heating and adequate food.

He also asked that people would check that elderly people have a working flashlight in their house in case of any power cuts, stating that a flashlight is a much safer alternative to give an older person than a candle.

Mr O’Brien said he wished to repeat the advice from the Local Authorities and elsewhere that people should stay indoors for the duration of the weather warning.

Update 5:30 - In a statement just issued the South/South West Hospital Group has said due to the red weather alert confirmed for Cork, the City Hall vaccination centre will be closed tomorrow.

“All appointments that were scheduled for Tuesday, 7th December, will be re-scheduled for the same time slot on Thursday, 9th December.

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused due to this alert,” the group stated.

Other disruptions to health services in Cork have also just been announced. 

Update 4:30pm - A slew of schools and amenities in Cork have announced they will not be opening tomorrow due to Storm Barra.

Coláiste Daibhéid, Douglas Community School, and the North Mon primary and secondary school were amongst the schools in Cork this afternoon to announce they would be closed tomorrow.

Munster Technical University (MTU) also confirmed that all campus buildings in Cork and Kerry will be closed tomorrow.

“We will continue to monitor the situation but are expecting to open as normal on Wednesday.

“We would advise all staff and students to take extra care due to ‘severe and potentially damaging winds',” MTU said in a Tweet.

Likewise, UCC has confirmed it will close from midnight tonight until Wednesday.

Fota Wildlife Park will also be closed to the public tomorrow and the Ferris Wheel as part of GLOW will also be out of action tomorrow due to the weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Cork Airport has announced that due to Storm Barra, Aer Lingus has cancelled their early morning services to Amsterdam and London Heathrow tomorrow.

Passengers are advised to check with their airline for further information.

Earlier: Cork City Council has warned that low-lying areas of the city centre are at risk of flooding due to heavy rainfall and strong winds forecast for tomorrow coupled with very high astronomical Spring Tides tomorrow morning.

It comes as Met Éireann this afternoon upgraded the wind warning for Cork to a status red ahead of the arrival of Storm Barra.

A status yellow rainfall warning also comes into effect tomorrow.

In an update this afternoon, the city council said it has a limited stock of gelbags and sandbags available for collection by the public and businesses.

Gelbags are available to collect from now until 8pm this evening at the council’s depot on Anglesea Terrace and gel and sandbags are available to collect from the Civic Amenity Site at Tramore Valley Park until 8pm.

The council has said whilst availability is limited, it will seek to fulfil all necessary requests.

Householders and businesses are advised to take precautionary measures to protect their property from flooding.

It is likely that some roads and parking areas along low-lying quays in the city centre may suffer localised flooding during high tides.

These areas include Morrison’s Quay, Fr Matthew Quay, Trinity Bridge, Union Quay, Sharman Crawford Street, Wandesford Quay, French’s Quay, Proby’s Quay, Crosses Green, Lavitt’s Quay, Kyrl’s Quay.

The flooding could also potentially reach areas such as South Terrace, Rutland Street, Sawmill Street and South Mall.

Motorists are advised not to park in any such areas between the hours of 6pm this evening and 9am tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning’s high tide is expected at 7.24am.

The council has said a number of road closures and traffic restrictions will be necessary.

Diversions will be put in place to ensure traffic can still circulate.

These will be introduced from early morning to reduce the impact of traffic moving through standing water.

People are asked to avoid all unnecessary journeys, to stay away from exposed quays, coasts, rivers and lakes, to stay away from any fallen electricity lines or trees, to secure any loose outdoor items and to continue to monitor Met Éireann and Cork City Council’s social media and websites for updates.

The City Council’s Customer Service Unit (CSU) has extended its opening hours this evening until 7pm and will be operating from 7am until 7pm tomorrow, to allow members of the public to contact them with any issues that may arise due to this severe weather event.

The CSU can be contacted on 021-4924000.

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