Fermanagh schools have been advised to close tomorrow as the county braces for the arrival of Storm Ophelia in the afternoon. A statement was released by the Executive a short time ago on Twitter stating the move was “a precautionary measure.”
@Education_NI has announced that all schools should close tomorrow (Monday 16 October) as precautionary measure in light of weather warnings
— NI Executive (@niexecutive) October 15, 2017
With the now ex-hurricane due to hit southern counties earlier in the morning, it is expected Ophelia will have weakened somewhat by the time it reaches Ulster after 3pm on Monday but will still bring strong, damaging winds and potential torrential rain, meaning flooding is possible.
Met Eireann this evening extended its red alert warning to all counties in the South, including Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, where all schools and colleges will be closed tomorrow. However, the Met Office’s amber alert remains in place for the North from 4pm and 10pm. This may change throughout the night.
Earlier this evening Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said bin collections would go ahead as planned, and urged locals to stay away from wooded areas.
£In areas which have a food caddy service scheduled tomorrow, the caddy, upon collection, will be placed in the larger bins, where available, to minimise the risk of damage,” they said. “However, depending on the severity of the weather, it may not be possible to complete the refuse collection routes tomorrow. Where possible, we would be grateful if you could bring your bin or caddy in as soon as possible after collection.”
“We would also ask in the interests of safety, that you avoid wooded parks or areas which have a high concentration of trees tomorrow. Further updates will be provided as the day unfolds,” they added.
With the current weather forecast, make sure keep up-to-date with updates from the authorities and schools on social media, try to no make unnecessary journeys tomorrow afternoon and evening, check on your neighbours, secure outdoor items such as trampolines and hanging baskets, and make sure you have candles and torches close by in case of power cuts.
Here are some numbers which may be helpful in the event of an emergency:
Flooding Incident Line 0300 2000 100
Transport NI 0300 200 7894 (Out of hours emergency line – 028 8224 1999)
Northern Ireland Electricity 03457 643 643
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council 0300 303 1777
Northern Ireland Housing Executive 03448 920 901