Like most of the country, west Limerick is still counting the cost of Storm Darwin which crossed the country last week.

The storm on Wednesday was among the worst to hit Ireland since records began. Wind speeds of up to 170 kph were recorded, causing severe damage to property, uprooting many trees and causing wide-spread power outages. Emergency services were out in force, and Limerick County Council described the emergency response as one of the largest ever undertaken by the local authority, with hundreds of Council staff and emer-gency service personnel engaged throughout the city and county from the original emergency res-ponse to the ongoing clean-up operations.

Limerick Fire and Rescue Service responded to over 220 weather-related emer-gency incidents throughout Limerick in the 48 hour period following the storm. The majority of the incidents responded to by the Fire Service, backed by An Garda Siochána, related to fallen trees, structural damage to buildings, and road traffic incidents.

Staff from the Council’s Roads, Environment, Hou-sing and Parks Departments also helped clear fallen trees and debris from local roads and public amenity areas and parks.  Else-where, Limerick Civil Defence assisted the HSE in relocating patients from the University of Limerick Hospital to various other locations during the storm, while water services staff worked around the clock to restore water supplies to areas affected by power outages.

Some areas in west Limerick, around Monagea and Carrigkerry, were still without power yesterday, Tuesday, as E.S.B. Networks personnel worked long hours in an effort to get as many customers as possible reconnected.

Paying tribute to the response and work of the emergency services, Cllr. John Sheahan, Cathaoir-leach of Limerick County Council, said: “It is at times like these that people get to witness at first hand the professionalism and the commitment of council staff and the Emergency Services. Along with An Garda Siochána, their response efforts were exemplary and are greatly appreciated by people across the city and county. Much of the work they carried out was undertaken in extremely challenging conditions and I have no doubt that their efforts ensured that the threat posed to property and indeed to life was mini-mised.

“Last week’s severe storm, coupled with the flooding of early February in Limerick city, presented an unprecedented challenge for all emergency services personnel in Limerick. The collaborative emergency response put into action in recent weeks is a tribute to everyone involved.”