Over 4,000 properties without power and flooding in parts of Cork as Storm Barra sweeps across the county

Over 4,000 properties without power and flooding in parts of Cork as Storm Barra sweeps across the county

A fallen Christmas tree on Princes St, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan.

More than 4,000 properties across the city and county remain without power this afternoon as Storm Barra continues to sweep across Cork.

The largest of the outages is in the Bishopstown area where more than 1,500 properties are without power, followed by Cobh where 1,551 properties are without power.

ESB Networks is estimating that power will be restored in Bishopstown at 9pm and in Cobh at 6.15pm.

A large outage is also affecting people in the Lee Bridge area where around 800 properties are without power.

Outages are also being reported in Carrigaline, Mayfield, and Macroom, among other areas.

In West Cork, almost 500 properties without power in Castletownbere and further properties are without power in Bantry and Skibbereen.

Meanwhile, business owners in Cork city have breathed a sigh of relief this morning as no damage was reported to city centre premises.

Water receded earlier this morning after flood levels peaked at 2.68 metres following high tide brought with it flooding on Morrison’s Island, Father Mathew Quay, and the South Mall with surface water on Oliver Plunkett Street also.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland this morning, the Director of Services and Operations with Cork City Council, David Joyce, said that the vast majority of properties had taken the opportunity to protect themselves from flooding this morning.

They had either gotten their own sandbags, gotten sandbags off the local authority or had more permanent flood defence protection structures that they can put in place so all that was in place.

 

President of the Cork Business Association (CBA) travelled to the city centre today to see if any damage had been done to its office on South Mall and to members’ premises across the city centre.

Speaking to The Echo, he said that luckily, there was no damage to property this morning despite flooding on Morrison’s Island and South Mall and surface water on Oliver Plunkett Street, which he said was “a positive result”.

 

Cork City Council is warning people to stay at home as winds of anywhere between 80 and 130km per hour will continue throughout the day.

An intense period of severe wind is expected in the coming hours but the red wind alert remains in place until 9pm this evening.

At least 12 fallen trees have been reported across the city and powerlines have also fallen. Cork City Fire Brigade and ESB crews are busy responding to incidents across the city.

Earlier today, Cork City Council had to close a road at Kilcully due to dangerous powerlines.

Cork City Council activated its Severe Weather Plan yesterday and its Crisis Management Team met again this morning.

Cork County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team and Crisis Management Team also convened this morning as updates were received in relation to incidents across the county caused by Storm Barra.

The worst affected area in Cork County this morning was Bantry, with an estimated 23 premises affected at high tide from 5.30am onwards.

Flooding also occurred on the Back Street in Youghal which is now receding and there are multiple reports of trees down and roads flooded throughout the county.

Cork County Council crews have been on standby throughout the night with sandbags deployed and pumps in operation across known flood risk areas.

Dangerous conditions are also being experienced at sea with marine warnings in place along all Irish coasts, including a Red Marine Warning for southwestern sea areas. A Yellow Rain Warning is also in effect with the strong winds accompanied by heavy rain.

 

Cork Airport confirmed that it remains open today but a number of flights have been cancelled.

Passengers are advised to check the status of their flights by clicking here.

This morning, both Aer Lingus and KLM’s flights from Cork Aiport to Amsterdam were cancelled, as well as Aer Lingus and British Airways’ Cork to London-Heathrow flights.

Irish Rail has confirmed that all Cork services are still operating but advised that some delays may occur due to the storm.

 

Reduced speeds are in operation between Mallow and Cork/Tralee as a safety precaution. 

Delays of up to 30 minutes are expected and passengers are asked to consider if their journey is necessary.

All Bus Éireann services in Cork are suspended for the day. All Cork city routes are cancelled – 201, 202, 202a, 203, 205, 206, 207, 207a, 208, 209, 209a, 212, 213, 214, 215, 215a, 216, 219, 220, 220x, 223, 223x, 225, 225L and 226.

Cork commuter routes are also cancelled – 226, 226x, 233, 235, 236, 237,239, 240, 241, 243, 245, 245X, 248, 257, 258, 260 and 261.

Route 220 will be suspended from 3am on Tuesday, December 7 and will recommence from 5am on Wednesday, December 8.

All school transport services have also been cancelled.

Aircoach has advised that there will be some disruption to the 704X service expected following the red warning issued by Met Éireann for the Cork area.

Aircoach advised that people should only consider travelling if their journey is necessary.

It said that the late notification of delays and cancellations is possible.

The Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has warned people to remain vigilant and not to take any unnecessary trips.

He said that the storm is as was predicted and is as severe as was forecast by Met Éireann and that Government response is in place across all local authorities across the country, including State agencies.

The minister said that while minimal damage and minimal flooding has been experienced, that the storm “is not over” and warned people not to be complacent while red, orange and yellow warnings were still in place.

He said that Storm Barra is a “multi-hazard event” with high winds, high tides and exceptional rainfall bringing with it a risk of coastal, river and surface flooding.

Minister O’Brien thanked those involved in the response to the storm, including the National Emergency Coordination group, all the agencies involved, the emergency services and local authorities across the country who he said have allowed the country to “mitigate some of the damage and the risk that may have presented itself” by preparing for the event since last Friday.

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