Derry counting the cost of former hurricane ‘Ophelia’

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Derry and Inishowen escaped the worst of former-hurricane ‘Ophelia,’ the largest East Atlantic tropical storm ever recorded, but schools and parks across the region remain closed this morning as the North West counts the cost of the cyclone.

Derry resembled a ghost town as citizens hunkered down while ‘Ophelia’ buffeted the city from mid-afternoon on Monday.

Routine outpatient appointments at Altnagelvin were cancelled while Derry City and Strabane District Council had closed all of its civic facilities, including leisure centres, parks, open spaces, cemeteries and recycling centres by 3 p.m.

Thousands of pounds worth of lost takings were also registered as major businesses, such as the Foyleside and Richmond Shopping Centres, shut up shop.

The education authorities on both sides of the border, which advised all schools to close yesterday, have followed the same policy today in order to allow appropriate structural assessments of school buildings to take place.

Operations are back to normal at City of Derry Airport (CoDA) this morning after BMI Regional cancelled flights from Eglinton to London Stansted as a result of the adverse weather conditions on Monday.

Residents of the BT47 area were also among tens of thousands of customers affected by power cuts across the North yesterday.

And Eglinton residents afflicted by the August floods, who are currently staying in temporary mobile homes in the village, were offered emergency accommodation in B&Bs and hotels.

Elsewhere, the Peace Bridge was closed yesterday afternoon and while it looked likely the Foyle Bridge would also be closed last night such provision was not becessary although high sided vehicles were banned and a 30 miles per hour speed limit imposed.