Ex-hurricane Ophelia brought 150 km/h winds, high waves and storm surge to parts of Ireland and UK on 16 October, 2017. At least 3 people have died in Ireland as a result of strong winds.
Met Eireann said that, at one point during the storm, Roches Point in County Cork had a mean wind speed of 111km/h and gusts of 156km/h on 16 October. On the same day, winds of 90 mph (144 km/h ) were recorded at Aberdaron in Gwynedd, Wales.
Ophelia was a major hurricane on Saturday into early Sunday. On 14 October, the UK’s Met Office said that “Ophelia has just set a record as the most eastern Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic on record!”
Ophelia weakened on Sunday night and although no longer classified as a hurricane when it hit the shores of Ireland on Monday 16 October, it still brought wind gusts of over 150 km/h.
Met Eireann issued red (highest) level warnings across the whole country. The government closed schools and heritage sites.
Ireland’s National Emergency Coordination Group said: “This event is unprecedented with serious life threatening conditions and all unnecessary travel should be avoided while the storm is passing. Do not be outside during the passing of the storm.”
The UK’s Met Office issued Amber level warnings for wind for parts of Northern Ireland, Western Scotland and North Wales. Yellow level warnings were issued for wider areas of Scotland, Wales and South West England.
Deaths and Damage in Ireland
At least 3 deaths were reported in Ireland as a result of the storm. Two people were killed as trees hit cars, and a man died while clearing trees and storm debris.
Transport, including bus, trains and flights, were all severely disrupted. Around 360,000 homes and businesses were without electricity.
According to Met Eireann figures, no significant rainfall was recorded in Ireland on 16 October. The highest rainfall fell in Cork, where 7.6mm of rain was recorded at Cork Airport.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency recorded 59.2mm of rain in 36 hours to early 17 October at Cluanie Inn, Glenmoriston, Inverness.
Flooding and Storm Surge
Ireland’s National Emergency Coordination Group warned that high seas were predicted, with the potential for localised coastal flooding as a result of wave overtopping. People were strongly advised to stay away from coastal areas.
The BBC reported that strong winds and high waves pushed sea water onto roads in parts of Anglesey, North Wales.
On 16 October, a storm surge of 1.2 metres was measured in Holyhead, Anglesey, 1.3 metres in Llandudno (both in North Wales), 1.4 metres in Millport, western Scotland, and 1.57 metres in Workington, England.
Local media in Ireland said that coastal defences were completely breached at Salthill, Galway, causing some flooding along coastal roads there.
— David Blevins (@skydavidblevins) October 16, 2017
High waves and flooding were still a concern as of 17 October. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has put 4 flood alerts and 16 flood warnings in place for south-west Scotland.
Earlier today the England’s Environment Agency issued a flood warning for Chiswell, Dorset, southern England. The agency said:
“The following Flood Warning will remain in force for two hours following the time of high tide. The Causeway between Portland and Wyke Regis may become impassable. Dangerous wave overtopping including shingle is possible.”
— Met Office (@metoffice) October 16, 2017
— Eoin English (@EoinBearla) October 16, 2017
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 16, 2017
Featured photo: file photo for illustration
B - Salthill, Galway (Ireland)
C - Llandudno
D - Millport
E - Workington
Holyhead, Wales - October 16 to October 16, 2017
Llandudno, Wales - October 16 to October 16, 2017
Millport, Scotland - October 16 to October 16, 2017
Workington, England - October 16 to October 16, 2017
Glenmoriston, Inverness - October 16 to October 17, 2017
Figures from SEPA for 36 hour period