#Ophelia Alert: #Kilkenny braced for storm
A 'Status Orange' weather warning remains in Kilkenny this evening, but this may yet be upgraded to 'Status Red' as Hurricane Ophelia moves closer to Irish shores tonight.
Earlier today, neighbouring counties Waterford and Wexford were both upgraded to a Status Red, and Waterford IT has said it will be closed tomorrow due to the risks associated with the weather alert 'and the potential risks to staff and students'. It will re-open on Tuesday.
The Department of Education has advised that schools in Status Red areas remain closed. While Kilkenny remains Orange, Met Éireann has said it's possible that the red wind warning could be extended to the rest of the country tonight. A number of schools in south Kilkenny have already indicated they may close.
Ophelia is the farthest-east major hurricane ever recorded here. Experts are expecting the storm to be even more severe than Storm Darwin in 2014. That weather event caused hundreds of thousands of euro worth of damage in Kilkenny, and saw the council declare a state of emergency.
Kilkenny County Council has this time warned that mean wind speeds between 65 and 80 km/h with gusts between 110 and 130km/h are expected. The winds have potential to cause structural damage and disruption.
The Kilkenny People will be keeping you up to date tomorrow on the storm and all the latest developments on our website, Facebook and Twitter.