Storm wreaks havoc throughout Avondhu area
Winds gusting at 160km/hour wreaked havoc at the height of the most severe storm seen in the region for many years on Wednesday.
Between 50 and 60 trees were reported down in the region by the hurricane strength winds as the storm lashed the area between noon and 3pm, blocking national, regional and back roads in every direction.
Part of the roofs of Hickeys' clothing store and Mellerick's Pharmacy on Patrick Street in Fermoy were damaged. Miraculously, no-one was injured. Mellerick's moved to premises across the road. Two big fir trees in the town park crashed down onto the Leisure Centre, damaging cars parked outside. The extent of any damage to the premises wasn't ascertained at the time of going to press. It was closed to the pubic as a safety precaution and is to remain closed on Thursday, until a proper inspection can be carried out.
Trees also came down in the upper car park at Kevin Barry Hill, covering cars parked below in branches and doing some minor damage. Four large and two smaller trees crashed down at Fermoy Pitch and Putt club. A large number of cars throughout the region were reported damaged by falling trees and debris.
The Cork-Dublin M8 motorway was closed at 12.30pm after a truck travelling northbound was blown over onto its side on the bridge crossing the Blackwater. The driver was taken to Cork University Hospital but sustained only minor injuries. Recovery services were unable to lift the truck because of the high winds and the motorway remained closed at the Corrin and Moorepark junctions into Wednesday evening, reopening shortly before 6pm.
Footpaths were cordoned off in Fermoy as tiles were blown from roofs in Pearse Square, Patrick Street and MacCurtain Street. It was a similar story in Mitchelstown.
While at the height of the storm motorists crossing the bridge in Fermoy were confronted with the sight of two horses, spooked by the storm, bolting across the bridge.
Power outages were reported in parts of Ballyduff, in Araglin, Cappoquin and Lismore, Rathcormac, Castlelyons and Kilworth.
At the height of the storm at lunchtime on Wednesday, Cork County Council's crews were stood down because it was deemed to be too dangerous to have them continue working in the conditions. A number of rural schools closed early and sent children home as a precaution.
The storm also brought heavy rain and flooding was reported on a number of roads around the region.
Gardai were inundated with calls, as was Cork County Council's area office in Fermoy. Gardai had to turn off traffic lights and manage traffic in Pearse Square to ease congestion following the motorway closure.
Area engineer Brendan O'Gorman said they'd had a very good response from landowners who helped clear fallen trees from roadways. They also called in contract staff to help with the clear up, as well as using their own staff.
In Mitchelstown, several sizeable trees were felled. In Kingston College green area, one of the old trees split in two, while on Clonmel Road a number of trees were reported to have fallen close to housing.
At the time of going to press on Wednesday evening, the R639 Fermoy to Tallow road was open and traffic was being managed by the Gardai. Congestion was expected though at the busy commuting period between 5.30 and 6.30pm. Trees that had fallen along the way had been cleared at that stage.
Met Eireann extended its red status warning mid-afternoon on Wednesday until 7pm.
Thursday 13th February 5:21pm