First of all, I hope that none of our readers were affected too negatively by the horrible weather conditions brought about by storm Ophelia, and I hope that everyone was safe, comfortable and that any electrical supplies, if lost, have now been restored.
I didn’t get a chance to go home the weekend of Ophelia, so I was stuck in my student accommodation, watching out the window as the tree closest to me was bending ominously towards the pavement, and three wheelie bins filled with what appeared to be glass decided to race each other towards Tesco Express. Having never experienced a storm of such magnitude I didn’t know what to expect. I pulled out bins into the side of the house and hoped and prayed it wouldn’t join the race with his friends on the street. With all the media hype that the storm was given, I was half tempted to barricade the door and to cover the windows with plywood. A further consultation with my father in Kilkenny convinced me (thankfully) that this was not a good idea.
During the storm itself, it all kicked off at around 10:30 in the morning. You could hear the wind screaming throughout the house, cars were suddenly a rarity on the road and all sorts of debris was flying through the sky. Social media was alight with news of power outages, road blockages and flooding throughout both the county and the country. The images spread through social media was enough to convince anyone, no matter how determined, to stay at home and not risk their lives by attempted to work through the storm that was warned. It was tragic to see the loss of lives inflicted by the storm and from all of us at Byline, the UCC Express and UCC, we offer our sincerest condolences to the families of those who were lost.
It’s only right that at times of good measure, we praise the government for quick and decisive actions regarding school closures and industry closures. Had it not been for their action, the death toll could have stacked a lot higher, as the winds were strong enough to carry any primary school student 100 metres at the very least, which, while a funny image the think of, would have been catastrophic. Thanks should also go to Martin Scally, the SU President, as he seemed (through his Twitter account) to be only source of reliable information when it came to updates regarding UCC’s closure.
If you’re reading this you can officially say that you’ve survived a natural disaster, well done, congratulations and it’s a story to tell for many years to come. It will be one of those moments where people will ask, “where were you during storm Ophelia?”. For some it was stuck at work, for others it was snuggling up to a blanket watching TV, for others it was suffering through a hangover following college’s closure celebrations at the Rock. For me, it was writing this, watching as two wheelie bins battle for supremacy on our narrow streets. Hopefully, this is the end of 2017’s struggles.