Reports: Ophelia kills 3, cuts power to 330,000 in Ireland

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer
October 17, 2017, 4:51:04 AM EDT

As of 9:50 a.m. BST Tuesday, this story is no longer being updated.

Despite no longer being a hurricane, Ophelia turned deadly and continues to batter Ireland and the United Kingdom with destructive winds and dangerous seas.

"Ophelia could bring one of the most destructive wind events in years to Ireland," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

Cork tree

Branches from a downed tree rest on a vehicle in Cork, Ireland, on 16 October 2017. (Twitter photo/@LouiseFoott)

Three people are dead as power cuts are mounting and schools are closed. Travel by road, rail, air and ferry continues to be significantly disrupted. The Irish Meteorological Service discouraged all unnecessary travel across Ireland on Monday.

While southern Ireland endured the brunt of Ophelia, potentially damaging winds and soaking rain will also sweep across the northern U.K. into Monday night. Conditions will gradually improve on Tuesday, except for rain spreading into South West England.

Interactive radar for Ireland and United Kingdom
Ophelia to slam Ireland and UK with destructive winds, dangerous seas into Tuesday
AccuWeather hurricane center

7:20 BST: Morning commuters of ScotRail along the eastern coast will face major delays Tuesday morning. The east coast mainline is reportedly closed after a freight train hit a fallen tree overnight. Arrangements are being made for replacement buses to take the place of affected routes, ScotRail said.

7:00 BST: Almost 50 flights were canceled in Scotland ahead of Ophelia on Monday, along the "scores" of ferries. The storm also closed some major roadways, like the Erskine Bridge.

4:00 BST: Crews have restored power to parts of Ireland as the total of customers without power is down to 330,000, according to ESB Networks. Officials warn that customers may be without power for several days after Ophelia has left the region.

A wind gust was reported in Glasgow of 82 km/h (59 mph) at 2:50 BST.

2:10 BST: Damage occurred at Turner’s Cross venue where the League of Ireland championship was scheduled to be held on Monday. The game was rescheduled to Tuesday because of Ophelia and the capacity at the stadium has been reduced due to storm damage.

23:50 BST: EBS Networks predicted that it could take 10 days before power is fully restored from Ophelia. As of Monday night, nearly 300,000 people were still without power.

22:45 BST: Ophelia lead to coastal flooding in many areas as rough surf pounds the coast. Many roadways flooded and water entered some structures.

19:55 BST: Northwestern Wales has experienced the highest wind gusts across the entire region over the past several hours with Aberdaron gusting to 86 mph.

18:09 BST: About 16,000 people are currently without power in Northern Ireland, according to NIE Networks. The electricity company tweeted that increasing wind speeds could lead to additional outages.

Meanwhile, workers continue to clear fallen trees that have closed roads throughout Northern Ireland.

Belfast City Airport has canceled all arriving and departing flights through Monday night.

17:33 BST: Northern Ireland’s Department of Education confirmed that all schools will remain closed on Oct. 17.

In Ireland, 5 to 10 percent of approximately 360,000 customers currently without electricity could remain without power for up to 10 days, according to ESB Networks.

The power cuts have impacted water supply and prompted the issuing of boil water notices in parts of Ireland.

River flooding - Limerick, Ireland

A river begins to flood in Limerick, Ireland, on Oct. 16, 2017. (Twitter photo/@anastazjakrokos)

16:50 BST:


No injuries were reported at the scene of this scaffolding collapse on Dorset Street in Dublin on 16 October 2017. (Twitter photo/Dublin Fire Brigade)

16:45 BST: Minor delays are impacting some routes in the west and north of England, Wales and Scotland, according to National Rail.

16:40 BST: The Irish Times reports that the death toll from Ophelia in Ireland has climbed to three. A man was reportedly killed when a tree fell onto his car as he was driving on a local road in Ravensdale.

16:35 BST: Below are the peak wind gusts Ophelia has so far produced across Ireland and the U.K.:

Wind gusts

16:05 BST: All schools across Ireland will remain closed in the aftermath of Ophelia.

15:55 BST:

15:50 BST: Winds in excess of 85 km/h (50 mph) continue to blast the Dublin area. Winds peaked at 104 km/h (64 mph) at 14:30 IST.

15:45 IST: Amid the extremely rough seas that Ophelia has kicked up, the Irish Times reports that two wind-surfers had to be rescued by the Coast Guard and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) crews on Monday morning.

Cork trees down Oct 16

Downed trees are littering roads in Cork (Twitter photo/@CorkSafetyAlert)

15:25 BST: Widespread damage is being reported in Northern Ireland, where Northern Ireland Electricity Networks reports that 1,300 customers are without power. Widespread damage is being reported across Northern Ireland.

15:10 BST: The number of ESB Networks customers without power has risen to 360,000, according to RTE.

15:00 BST: Ophelia is being blamed for another death in Ireland. A man in his early 30s was fatally injured in County Tipperary with a chainsaw as he worked to clean a fallen tree, according to the Irish Times.

Residents are urged to use caution when clearing debris. Bodily harm may result as strong winds whip around loose items, as well as knock down trees and branches.

14:50 BST: Ireland's National Police Service, An Garda Síochána, reports that people are not heeding warnings to stay away from waterways and cliff walks.

Dangerous seas are pounding the coastline of the Celtic Sea. A buoy off the tip of South West England reported a wave height of 6.3 meters (20.7 feet) at 12:00, according to information from the National Data Buoy Center. Earlier in the morning, a buoy located nearly 450 km (278 miles) south-southwest of Cork reported a wave height of 11 meters (36.4 feet).

14:00 BST: Wind gusted to 91 km/h (56 mph) at Dublin's international Airport as Dublin Fire Brigade continues to respond to downed trees on roads.

Dublin Oct 16

As winds picked up Dublin, a tree was downed in the capital's Ranelagh area on 16 October 2017. (Twitter photo/@harrymcgee)

Dublin tree down

A downed tree blocks a road in Dublin on 16 October 2017. (Twitter photo/@eliefadous)

13:41 BST: The Irish Times now reports that roughly 230,000 homes are without power in Ireland.

13:30 BST: A section of the roof of Turner’s Cross football stadium in Cork has collapsed. The stadium was set to host a match between Cork City and Derry City on Tuesday evening, according to the Irish Times.

The game was originally scheduled for Monday, but was pushed back to Tuesday due to Ophelia's inclement weather.

13:01 BST: A woman was killed near Aglish, Ireland, when a tree fell onto her car amid strong Ophelia winds, according to Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE).

Aglish is located in between Cork and Waterford. Wind gusts so far have peaked around 123 km/h (76 mph) at both locations.

12:00 BST: Approximately 120,000 electricity customers of ESB Networks in southern Ireland are without power.

ESB anticipates that the majority of customers will remain in the dark through Monday night.

"From previous similar storms, e.g. Storm Darwin, where over 280,000 customers were left without supply, we can predict that it will take a number of days to restore power to all customers," the company stated.

11:00 BST: Cork Airport announced that there will be no further departures on Monday. A decision has yet to be made if the airport will re-open on Monday night.

11:00 BST: Saharan dust was drawn across the United Kingdom ahead of Ophelia, causing the sun to appear red. The phenomena is similar to when volcanic ash in the sky leads to stunning sunrises and sunsets.

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