KILLARNEY and all other parts of the county will go into almost total lockdown tomorrow but on this occasion it’s weather-related as opposed to being linked to the pandemic.
As reported by KillarneyToday.com this morning, Met Éireann has issued a Status Red warning for the entire county which is effective from 6.00am until 9.00pm this Tuesday.
Violent and damaging gusts in excess of 130km/h and south-westerly winds reaching mean speeds in excess of 80 km/h have been forecast and due to a combination of high waves, storm surge and high tide, coastal flooding is expected as well as disruptions to power and travel.
Kerry County Council has initiated its severe weather emergency plan and is fully engaged in preparing for Storm Barra, given the potential for fallen trees, power outages, damage to property and flooding across the county on Tuesday and into Wednesday.
The Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team, including representatives from Kerry County Council, An Garda Síochána, the HSE, Kerry Fire Service and Kerry Civil Defence, is meeting to coordinate the response.
Members of the public are being advised to remain indoors and avoid travel for the entire duration of the weather warning.
All schools will be closed, Covid-19 testing and vaccinations centres in Tralee will remain shut, GP surgeries have been cancelling vaccine booster clinics and several businesses will remain closed to ensure customer and staff safety.
Killarrey National Park, Killarney House and Gardens and Muckross House will be off limits for the duration of the weather event, due to the sever risk associated with falling trees or potential damage from falling masonry or slates for buildings.
Public offices and libraries, as well as public parks and amenities, will be closed to public access on Tuesday.
There will be significant disruption to HSE services across Kerry and Cork tomorrow due to the impact of Storm Barra with a focus on keeping essential, life-saving services available.
The National Ambulance Service will prioritise emergency calls but it is urging the general public to think carefully before calling and it has been stressed that the response to emergency calls may be hindered by road conditions and the number of calls received at any particular time.
All elective inpatient and outpatient appointments and procedures in University Hospital Kerry, Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital and the hospitals in Bantry and Mallow are cancelled tomorrow with the exception of time critical cases.
Day services for older people, in disability services and in mental health services, will be closed and most appointments at health and primary care centres are not going ahead.
Sandbags are being deployed in areas where there may be a known flooding impact, in line with established procedures and with the assistance of the Kerry Civil Defence.
Kerry County Council will operate an emergency phone line for the duration of Storm Barra on which issues can be reported. The contact number is 066-7183588 and crews will respond to issues which arise when it is safe to do so.
Fallen electricity wires or poles and power outages should be reported to ESB Networks on 1800-372-999.
Kerry County Council can be contacted in the normal way, for non-weather matters, on 066-7183500 and [email protected].
The council has issued the following advice:
- Items of property which are vulnerable to high winds, such as bins, trampolines, Christmas decorations and lights, hoarding, fencing or similar items, should be secured and stored away.
- Tents or marquees and any other temporary outdoor structures should be secured or stored away.
- Because of the likelihood of power outages, householders are urged to charge mobile phones and torches and to check in with elderly or vulnerable neighbours to ensure they are prepared for the storm.