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16/10/2017

NI Schools Closed As Storm Approaches

All schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic are closed today, 16 October, due to severe weather warnings when ex-hurricane Ophelia hits.

The Category 3 storm will no longer be a hurricane, however an amber alert has been put in place from noon until 11pm tonight.

The Met Office is urging the public to be careful, as tree may fall in some areas.

Travel disruption is is also expected.

Sinn Féin leader in the North, Michelle O'Neill MLA, said: "I have talked to the interim Head of the Civil Service regarding the impact that Hurricane Ophelia may have and on the measures and precautions needed to mitigate against the severe weather in the interests of public safety including school closures tomorrow which have now been announced by the Department for Education.
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"People should keep informed about the weather and act to protect yourself and your home from the effects of flooding and high winds, and importantly to heed safety warnings."

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said: "No one should underestimate the potential danger to life and property from Hurricane Ophelia across Ireland today.

"There is a severe weather warning in place from noon today until 11pm tonight.

"People should stay at home and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.

"Businesses should close and allow staff to get home safely as early as possible.

"Power cuts may occur.

"Mobile phone coverage may be affected.

"Lock down or securely store any items outside your home or business and be mindful of the risks of roof tiles being dislodged.

"Do not take chances today."

(CD/JP)

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