Prom pummelled, water and power hit – but Galway avoids worst of Ophelia

Ophelia hits Salthill Prom. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

GALWAY and the West – with the exception of the Salthill Promenade area – seems to have escaped the worst of ex-hurricane Ophelia last Monday with no major accidents or structural damage reported.

Sea surges combined with the high afternoon tide however did lead to serious flood levels along the main Salthill Prom area and in the Toft car-park where a number of vehicles were marooned.

Galway County Council and the Gardai have complimented the general public and employers for the ‘sensible approach’ adopted with the vast majority of people heeding the advice to stay indoors during the peak of Monday’s storm.

However, Gardai had to maintain a full-time patrol around the Salthill Prom area following the insistence of a number of youths and some older regular sea swimmers, who defied instructions to stay out of the sea.

A Garda spokesperson said that a lot of Garda time was spent on trying to prevent a number of people from entering the sea at Salthill Prom – some of them youths and others in the older age categories.

“It really was just a matter of common sense. It did just not add up for people to be entering the sea just as the storm was about to reach its peak, but thankfully there were no casualties,” said the Garda spokesperson.

She added that all across the county, the public had to be commended for the sensible attitude they adopted during the height of the storm on Monday afternoon simply by staying indoors.

“We actually didn’t have any report of a road accident across the county on Monday. People took the advice given to them, they stayed off the road and avoided the high-risk period of the storm,” said the spokesperson.

Galway County Council Chief Executive, Kevin Kelly, told the Connacht Tribune, that Galway and the West appeared to have avoided the worst of the storm.

“The biggest issue we had was fallen trees, dotted across different parts of the county, including parts of North Galway, Athenry, Ballinasloe and Portumna,” he said.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.