Updated: 17/10/17 : 06:16:26
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Sligo escaped worst ravages of Storm Ophelia

SLIGO SAW Storm Ophelia end her short, destructive spell over Ireland with a whimper early this morning, Tuesday.

But strong gusts remained a feature in Sligo town and county early today as the ex-Hurricane headed towards Scotland.

Sligo County Council has warned that fallen trees have made a number of roads impassable.

Streets were deserted in many towns and villages by lunchtime, while the normally bustling promenade at Strandhill was quiet as people apparently heeded the advice to avoid exposed coastal areas.

Officially, the countrywide Red Alert, the highest, was lifted by Met Eireann at 1am this morning.

Yesterday, most of the rest of Ireland experienced big bangs, rather than whimpers, all day long.

The storm of destruction and havoc -- the worst since Hurricane Debbie in 1961 -- reached into every pocket of Ireland, north and south.

Three people lost their lives in storm-related incidents, all involving trees, in Waterford, Tipperary and Louth.

This morning the Cabinet is expected to receive a report on the clean-up at its weekly meeting. 

Transport Minister Shane Ross seemed to indicate on national radio yesterday that State aid would not be found short, if needed.

The Irish Times quotes sources this morning who estimate damage running to hundreds of millions.

Full Resources

The official clean-up had already commenced last night under the guidance of the National Emergency Response Committee.

''The full resources of our local government system'' would be available, pledged the Committee's chairman, Seán Hogan.

These resources will include County Councils, the ESB, Gardai, the HSE and the Army may be required for ''some specialist jobs,'' said Mr Hogan.

All of the country's schools will stay closed today, Tuesday, the Department of Education ruled, however IT Sligo will reopen this morning. 

Nationwide train and bus services will resume today after yesterday's countrywide curtailment.

The last train from Dublin to Sligo left Connolly Station shortly after 1pm.

But it -- and the Sligo to Dublin lunchtime train -- encountered a fallen tree on the line near Enfield in Co Meath.

HSE day-service appointments are also all expected to be back and running today, including patient calls to Markievicz House and Sligo University Hospital.

Response Praised

Meanwhile, the countrywide Red Alert, the highest, was lifted by Met Eireann at 1am this morning, Tuesday.

The national planning and response for yesterday's emergency was widely praised.

RTE Radio One also broadcast all its key programmes on television throughout Monday.

Met Eireann's Joanna Donnelly told RTE's Claire Byrne Show last night how the Red Alert came exactly thirty years after British weather failed to warn of a major storm.

Noted Sligo artist and cartoonist Annie West tweeted this amusing image of the effect of Storm Ophelia on Ireland

Checking Lines

Meanwhile, ESB Networks began checking lines yesterday afternoon in areas where the storm had eased.

A record number of customers were without power at on stage yesterday.

Sligo and Leitrim saw thousands of homes without power overnight

The company has warned that, in some cases, it may be ten days before full service is resumed.

Early this morning, an estimated 295,000 customers were without power.

ESB Networks asked those dependent on power for nebulisers and air mattresses to contact community (health) service.

Countrywide, some of the biggest names in retail trade stayed closed -- including Dunnes Store and Eason.

Tesco faced demands from the trade union Mandate to confirm all stores would close by 1pm.

In Sligo, Quayside shopping centre also closed at 11am yesterday, as did several local GP practices.

Link: See Sligo Today 16/10/2017.

Sligo County Council dealt with the following storm damage;

Tree down in Monasteraden Village at Claher Hall
Tree down between Quarryfield Crossroads and Bunninadden
Tree down between Old School Carn and Cuilmore Cross, Gurteen
R286  Sligo to Dromahair Road blocked, not passable – Trees down
L 1402 Ballindoon to Castlebaldwin road blocked
Ross Road out of Riverstown blocked at crossroads
L54041 road Ballyrush blocked
Fallen tree N16 Manorhamilton Rd blocked at Dunally
Tree down at Railway Bridge Strandhill Road Sligo
Tree blocking road at R 296 Carrownanty, Ballymote
Tree removed on R296 Carrownanty, will be opened shortly
R284 Sligo to Geevagh Road blocked at Mount Irwin
Tree blocking road at L6106 Ranaghan Coolaney
Holborn St Sligo closed to traffic, loose hoarding
Strandhill to Culleenamore Rd blocked, fallen tree
Sligo to Dromahair Rd blocked at Dooney Rock, fallen tree
Tree removed on R284 Geevagh/Mount Irwin – road opened
Fallen Eircom pole Old Bundoran Rd, Sligo, road will be closed
Fallen trees cleared from N16 Sligo Manorhamilton Rd, and
R286 Sligo Dromahair Rd, roads now passable
Road blocked at Carrickbanagher 2 miles from Clarkes Bridge, fallen tree
Eircom pole removed from Old Bundoran Rd, pictured above
Tree down at Knockminna Cemetery near Ballymote
Tree cleared from L 1402 Ballindoon to Castlebaldwin,
Trees cleared on R292 at Culleenamore and R287 at Dooney Rock.