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Tropical Storm Ophelia Blamed For At Least 3 Deaths In Ireland

DUBLIN (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — Tropical Storm Ophelia has been blamed for at least three deaths in Ireland after battering the country’s southern coast.

The storm hit Ireland with heavy rain, wind, and 30-foot waves.

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Authorities in Ireland closed schools, courts and government buildings on Monday as the storm slammed ripped roofs off of buildings and toppling trees.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Ophelia Hits U.K., Ireland

Officials reported Monday that Ophelia’s strong winds had claimed three lives in Ireland.

One woman was killed when a tree fell onto a car carrying her in County Waterford. She was identified by the Irish Times as Claire O’Neill, 58, a mother of one and a cancer care nurse.

O’Neill was driving the car while her mother, who is in her 70s, was a passenger, the Irish Times reported. O’Neill’s mother was injured, the Irish Times reported.

A man was also killed in while trying to clear fallen trees in County Tipperary. The man – identified by in the Irish Times report as Michael Pyke – died after being injured with his chainsaw, the publication reported.

Another man was killed when his car was struck by a tree on a local road in County Louth, the Irish Times reported.

Ireland’s meteorological service said winds gusted over 100 mph Monday, sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights were canceled, and aviation officials had warned travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday.

The Irish Times reported that more than 350,000 people were left without power across Ireland.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Ophelia late Sunday night to post-tropical cyclone, but Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has declared the storm a national emergency, and he warned Irish citizens in a Twitter post to remain indoors.

The weather service issued a “status red” warning, saying “violent and destructive” wind is forecast nationwide, and “heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will lead to flooding.”

Britain’s Met Office also warned of very windy weather in parts of Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England. The agency is warning of potential power cuts, and disruption to transport and mobile phone signals.

There were 14 separate flood warnings in place in the U.K. before lunchtime on Monday.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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