Limerick tourists 'bunkered up' in Florida as Hurricane Irma lashes Sunshine State

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh


Limerick tourists 'bunkered up' in Florida as Hurricane Irma lashes Sunshine State

Calm before the storm: Members of Hannon family on holidays before Hurricane Irma hit

A NUMBER of Limerick tourists have “bunkered up” in Orlando as they brace for Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in southern Florida on Sunday morning.

Hurricane Irma, which has devastated communities across the Caribbean islands and has claimed a number of lives, is one of the strongest ever storms recorded in the Atlantic.

The category three hurricane is expected to swoop through Tampa and eventually hit Orlando by Monday evening Irish time.

A Hurricane warning is in place and the city is essentially in lockdown as it braces for Irma’s arrival.

Singer-songwriter Niall O’Halloran, from Parteen, who is currently doing a three-week gig residency in Disney World with Lisa Canny, has been forced to “stock up to the max on supplies”.

“Currently we are at the far edge of the Storm, weather is the equivalent of a wet Irish day with some wind. What we are  expected to get as the storm moves towards us is a category 3-4 hurricane so the same as Hurricane Katrina,” he told the Limerick Leader this Sunday.

He added: “Luckily, we won't be affected by storm surges but we will be getting very heavy winds and rainfall. There has been a curfew set for everyone in the area so we are sitting tight at the moment and waiting for winds to pick up.”

The Hannon family, from Corbally, say it has been a tough experience securing supplies for the house, such as water and non-perishable goods as they are expecting a power and water cut.

Mary Immaculate College researcher Adele Hannon, 25, said that they have been forced to stay indoors until “the worst of the storm passes”.

“I will say it is very organised over here and the Americans are extremely helpful with offering advice. It was hard enough getting supplies for house such as water and non-perishable goods because it is expected there will be power and water cuts," she said.

“Everything is due to be back up and running again as of Monday. The worst part of this experience is the not knowing and the unpredictability of this hurricane. It keeps changing its course and the power of the hurricane keeps fluctuating also,” she added.

The Hannons and Mr O’Halloran have confirmed that they are safe.