One year ago today Storm Ophelia hit Kildare

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One year ago today Storm Ophelia hit Kildare
8:46 Tuesday 16th of October 2018

This day last year one of the most powerful storms to ever hit Ireland - Ophelia - made landfall.

Schools were cancelled for the day and most people had to leave work early.

People were warned not to make any unnecessary journeys especially travelling within the Red Warning Level warning areas.

Gusts of up to 191 km/h (119 mph) were recorded at Fastnet Rock off the coast of Co Cork, the highest wind speeds ever recorded in Ireland.

Above: Monread area in Naas

Trees were knocked down blocking roads and electricity wires caused power cuts.

Storm Ophelia caused a massive clean-up operation across Co Kildare with hundreds left without power, water and broadband services.

The county came to a standstill on Monday, October 16 as people weee forced to take the day off and followed persistent advice to stay indoors by the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG).

Violent winds downed trees across several roads and damage was caused to residential and commercial property in Naas and Newbridge.

A tree crashed through the roof of a home in Punchestown.

Fallen electricity wires also posed a safety risk near Mullacash and outside Athy.

The following morning, Kildare Co Council staff including fire services, roads staff, engineers and health and safety officers were immediately on the ground to assess the damage.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid a visit to rescue workers in Kilcock.

There was power failures in many areas like Suncroft, Nurney, Monread, Prosperous, Clane, Caragh, Johnstown, Kilberry, Allen, Johnstownbridge, Kilcock and Leixlip.

Utility provider eir said that Co Kildare was one of the worst affected counties with over 4,000 customers without broadband, telephone and mobile services.

The ESB said that more than 360,000 customers were without power across the couuntry in the wake of the storm.

Two people, a man in Dundalk and a woman in Aglish, County Waterford, were killed when trees fell on their cars.

In Co Tipperary, another fatality occurred when a man was clearing a fallen tree with a chainsaw.

It was estimated that Ophelia had caused €1.5 billion worth of losses in Ireland, mostly due to the shutdown of economic activities on the day of its passage.

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