QUEUES formed outside the Centra store on Grand Parade today as the only shop in the city centre to open its doors dealt with waves of hungry, cold customers looking for hot deli food — but only a lucky few managed to make off with a sliced pan.
Herlihy’s Centra on Grand Parade stayed open amid Storm Barra at the behest of the emergency services, but found themselves inundated with customers from locals to South Mall regulars who appeared to think it was business as usual.
Speaking to The Echo, owner Kevin Herlihy said he shut his Patrick St and Oliver Plunkett St stores, but after receiving a call from emergency services, decided to keep his Grand Parade shop open in order to ensure there was hot food and drinks available to those working during the second storm of the season.
“We coordinated our staff so that only those who could walk to work were on duty. We have people living in Carrigaline and Ballincollig and they were all given the day off,” he said.
Mr Herlihy, who also lives in the city, said it was all hands on deck for the day, with queues forming outside.
“We had security on and we had queues forming outside as we could only let in so many people at a time due to Covid.”
The shopkeeper said there were no sliced pans to be got by the afternoon and the deli was busy from open to close.
“We were very busy today. We didn’t mind opening our doors, it was a good thing to do. Hopefully, things will be back to normal tomorrow.”
Mr Herlihy took the time to thank his staff for working a hectic shift under stressful conditions.
“There was a great team effort, everyone worked hard, thanks to the staff for working on a day like that.”
Across the city, Cork Simon worked diligently to meet the increased demand for shelter while Storm Barra raged.
Additional space was made available at the Simon shelter in the city on Monday and Tuesday night as Storm Barra continues to cause consternation across the county. Posting on Facebook, the Cork Simon team said they had a lot of extra people in their emergency shelter and night light service on Monday night.
The charity has also created some extra spaces temporarily in some of their high support houses to make sure they have enough space for everybody that needs it.
Cork Simon said they intend to keep the additional beds available until the bad weather subsides considerably.
“We’ll keep these measures in place until the red, orange and yellow weather alerts are stood down.”
They thanked staff and volunteers who helped provide additional beds for people in need: “A big thank you to everyone who has pitched in to help make sure everyone can be as safe and protected as possible from Storm Barra. This is Cork at its very best.”
Meanwhile, in Ballyphehane, it was a close call for Mandy O’Brien who awoke to find a tree had fallen in spectacular fashion and had ended up suspended by a phone wire and leaning on her garden wall.
Speaking to The Echo, Mandy said it was great that no damage had been done and no one was hurt. Mrs O’Brien who lives on Connolly Rd with her ten-year-old daughter Amy and her son Derick, 26, who is in the Navy, commended the emergency services for attending the incident.
Mandy said gardaí had to block off the road for hours before confirmation was received that the suspended wire holding up the base of the broken tree was not live.
She said the tree was still suspended outside her garden this evening, as City Council needed to assess the situation before taking steps to remove it.
Traffic diversions were in place in North Cork due to an overturned HGV on the M8. A Garda spokesperson said no serious injuries were reported as a result of the incident, and said a crane was needed to move the truck and this would not be on scene until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest.
HSE services across the city are expected to resume in full tomorrow, with appointments cancelled today to be rescheduled.
At the Port of Cork, the Tivoli and Ringaskiddy Terminals will reopen at 7am tomorrow for normal operations.