Saturday, 18th November 2017
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Ophelia wreaks havoc takes 3 lives

Waterford City and County Council are counting the cost of ex-hurricane Ophelia which wreaked havoc throughout the county on Monday last. There was widespread sorrow at the death of Clare O’Neill, from Aglish who was killed in an accident when a branch from a tree went through the windscreen of her car. Her 77 year old mother who was also in the car was taken to hospital. Clare worked as an Oncology nurse for over 30 years and had just started a new job as a Co-ordinator with Cork ARC cancer support service, based in Youghal. The Waterford Crisis Management Team was convened in preparation for the extreme weather event and the members met regularly over the course of Sunday 15th October and into the late evening of Monday 16th October to agree priorities, key messages for communication to the public, liaison with state and emergency services and plan for the recovery phase.

The Outdoor crews were on site from 7am on Monday morning and were stood down for period from 12pm to 4pm to ensure safety due to the strength of the winds during that period. Priority is being given in the recovery phase to dealing with fallen trees on national primary routes and ensuring access to emergency services across the county. The cost of damage will be assessed over the coming days and Waterford City and County Council staff will be taking stock of all damage and will endeavour to repair and reinstate as priorities necessitate. Seven houses in Brown Street, Portlaw were seriously effected when the roofs of their houses were torn off by the force of the wind. Officials from Waterford city and county council were on site at 8.30 yesterday morning. The houses are privately owned. The CEO of the Council was in constant contact with Fianna Fail T.D. Mary Butler who lived in Brown Street for over 20 years and resides in the general area. There were over 200 trees felled during the storm and reports of power outages and water service cuts. ESB crews will have the bulk of homes restored by today.

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