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    A 'road closed' sign is seen submerged in floodwater during Storm Ophelia in Galway, Ireland October 16, 2017.

    Ophelia Pummels Ireland, British Isles on Anniversary of the Great Storm

    © REUTERS/ Clodagh Kilcoyne
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    Deemed the most powerful storm to reach Ireland since Hurricane Debbie back in 1961 by meteorologists, the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia have killed at least three people, Ireland's National Police announced Monday.

    Two of the deceased, a man and woman, were killed in separate incidents when trees fell on their cars; the third person was killed in a chainsaw accident while he was trying to remove a downed tree.

    #holyheads getting crazy in the centre of town #ophelia #windy #lightsgoingout #getthecandlesready

    A post shared by Kiki Walker (@magicmummywiv3) on Oct 16, 2017 at 10:17am PDT

    ​Media outlets in the UK have compared Ophelia to the Great Storm of 1987, which hit the country exactly 30 years ago today and killed 22 people.

    ​Though Ophelia was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone Sunday, the distinction likely matters little to the Gaels in Ophelia's path. The storm has pounded the region with 70 mph wind gusts, including one gust of 119 mph recorded on Fastnet Island, off the southern coast of Ireland, the Weather Channel reported.

    ​According to Met Éireann, the Irish Meteorological Service, the storm is expected to bring more "violent and destructive" winds, including flooding from heavy rains and storm surges.

    The National Hurricane Center has predicted that Ophelia will drop between 2 to 3 inches of rain, with isolated totals nearing about 4 inches through Tuesday in western Ireland and nearby Scotland.

    So much action 🌊🌊#atlantic #ophelia 😇

    A post shared by Vivekanandan Srinivasan (@i.m.v.i.v.e.k) on Oct 16, 2017 at 10:21am PDT

    In response, the Emerald Isle has called for schools and colleges to be closed Tuesday. Public transportation such as ferries and flights have also been cancelled.

    "I don't want anyone to think that this is anything other than a national emergency," Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, said in a press conference Monday.

    Dramatic footage of a flight landing at Dublin Airport during #StormOphelia #Ophelia #tag #flight #dublin #instagood

    A post shared by @Love_Belfast 🌐 (@love_belfast) on Oct 16, 2017 at 10:16am PDT

    The UK Met Office has also issued a wind amber warning for Northern Ireland, which indicates power outages and public transportation delays are possible.

    According to ESB Networks, a utility provider, roughly 360,000 of its customers are currently without power due to Ophelia.

    ​"Stormy conditions may be tempting to watch, but big waves can easily knock you off your feet," the Japan Times reported Matt Crofts, a lifesaving manager with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, saying Monday. "We understand why people want to experience extreme weather, but it's not worth risking your life, so we strongly urge people to respect the water and watch from a safe distance."

    ​Despite the warnings, social media reports show daredevils living it up on Ophelia's powerful winds and rough waters.

    ​Over yonder on the mainland, residents were met with an orange sky due to debris that Ophelia brought into the region from wildfires in Portugal and Spain, including some sand from the Sahara Desert, according to reports.

    Enki Research, a US-based disaster modeler, predicts Ophelia has the potential to cause upwards of $1.5 billion in damages in Ireland and more than $2.5 billion overall in the British Isles, ABC News reported.

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    Tags:
    Storm, Ophelia, Scotland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Ireland
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