The scale of the damage caused by Storm Darwin throughout South Tipperary was colossal leaving thousands of people left without electricity, water and phone services counting the cost.
Road closures, diversions and scenes of danger as a result of fallen electricity wires were the order of the day last Wednesday as the storm struck.
Significant damage was carried out to farm buildings and massive disruption was caused as people were unable to get to work as a result of the road closures.
There was a total of 690 trees that fell onto public roads as a result of the storm with probably “two to three times that“ again in private property and areas that did not effect public roads.
Surveying the damage, Peter Britton, Senior Engineer with South Tipperary County Council, said the amount of damage was ‘colossal” and the event was unprecedented in the area.
“The priority was to make roads safe and passable” he said.
For the three days the authority had sixteen crews on duty as well as other crews in the major towns with up to 150 staff who were on duty on the tree clearing mission.
“The major roads were clear by Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday there had been up to 550 trees cleared. In areas like Hollyford and Fethard it was Friday before the trees were all cleared,” said the council engineer.
He praised the council staff and the other agencies involved in the operation, including the garda, fire brigade personnel and the ESB in the co-ordinated response to the storm.
He also paid tribute to a large number of farmers and locals who volunteered to help clear the trees from the roads with the council workers.
“They were all working in the most severe and dangerous of conditions. In a lot of cases the electricity wires were tangled in fallen trees and each incident took a long time to deal with and in some cases it took longer to open up some of the roads,” he said.