WITH a red weather warning in place, most schools across Limerick have confirmed they will remain closed on Thursday.
A wind weather warning is in place for Limerick until 2pm on Thursday, with southerly winds of average speeds in excess of 80km/h and gusts of 130 to 150km/h expected to develop, particularly in exposed coastal and mountain areas. The gusts are expected to be at their strongest late on Thursday morning.
Met Eireann has also issued a yellow alert warning of heavy rainfall between now and 6pm tomorrow with up to 35mm expected in some places.
The government’s Emergency Co-Ordination Group, which met this afternoon, is asking people to avoid unnecessary travel, keep away from fallen wires and to be conscious of vulnerable neighbours.
Appropriate crisis management teams within Limerick City and County Council have convened on a number of occasions to review the unfolding situation.
Director of travel and transport, Paul Crowe, said the local authority is urging members of the public to be vigilant.
“We are advising the public to avoid making any unnecessary journeys as the strong winds are expected to continue into the night time hours,” Mr Crowe said.
“With the cold weather over the last number of days the council has been putting its winter maintenance plan into action but with stormy conditions forecast we’re advising motorists to exercise caution and to make themselves familiar with the Road Safety Authority guidelines on driving in difficult conditions.”
After receiving advice from the The Department of Education and Skills a number of schools in Limerick have said they will advise parents of their status via social media or text message by 8am on Thursday while others have confirmed they will remain closed due to Storm Rachel.
The schools which have confirmed they will remain closed are: Ahane NS, An Mhodhscoil, Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally; Ardpatrick NS, Ardscoil Rís, NCR; Ballybrown NS; Caherline NS, Cappamore NS, Carnane NS, CBS Sexton Street (primary and secondary), Christ the King boys school, Caherdavin; Castletroy College, Catherine McCauley school, Colaiste Chiarain, Croom; Colaiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale; Colaiste Iósaef, Kilmallock; Colaiste Mhuire, Askeaton; Colaiste na Trocaire, Rathkeale; Cratloe NS, Crecora NS, Crescent College Comprehensive, Croagh NS, Croom NS, Desmond College, NCW; Donoughmore NS, Foynes NS, Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, Gaelscoil Chaladh an Treoigh (Castletroy), Gaelscoil Sheoirse Clancy, Southill; Gaelscoil Raithin, Glenbrohane NS, Hazlewood College, Dromcollogher; JFK, Ennis Road; Kilfinane NS, Killmallock NS, Knockainey NS, Knockea primary school, Laurel Hill Colaiste, SCR; Limerick School for the Deaf, Limerick Educate Together, Mungret; Manister NS, Milford NS, Monaleen NS, Mungret NS, Patrickswell NS, Presentation NS, Salesians Pallaskenry; Salesian primary, Fernbank; Scoil Carmel, Scoil Dean Cussen, Bruff; Scoil Ide, Corbally; Scoil Mhuire Banríon na hÉireann, Caherdavin; Scoil na Trionoide Naofa, Doon; Shauntrade NS, Adare; SMI secondary School, NCW; St Brigids, Singland; St Mary’s secondary school, St Munchin’s College, St Nessans Community College, Moylish; St Nessans, Mungret; St Patrick’s Boys NS, Dublin Road; St Patricks Girls NS, St Pauls, Dooradoyle, Parteen NS, Villiers school, NCR (day pupils only).
Meanwhile, Limerick Institute of Technology says it will open as normal on Thursday while the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) at UL has confirmed it will be closed. Limerick Youth Service and Limerick College of Further Education will also remain closed.
Members of the public wishing to report storm damage of a life threatening nature are advised to ring the emergency services on 999.
Limerick City and County Council’s emergency out of hours numbers are:
061-417833 (Limerick City)
061-419226 (County Limerick)