The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim has appealed to all residents to stay safe as Storm Ophelia moves in.
An amber weather warning has been issued, with severe winds forecast across the Borough and Northern Ireland this afternoon and into Monday night.
First Citizen, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “I urge all members of the public to take extra care throughout today and this evening.
“The Met Office has warned of extreme weather conditions which could pose a threat of injuries and endanger life. Our residents are encouraged to stay indoors and avoid all unnecessary journeys.
“The coast road from Larne to Cushendall will close tonight at 7pm as a precaution; if you must travel, use alternative routes and drive slowly.
“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has activated its emergency plan and we are in constant contact with our statutory partners, as part of a multi-agency approach to minimising the impact of the severe weather.
“We have been posting regular updates and advice on Council’s social media channels and will continue to share the very latest guidance throughout the day and into this evening.
“We took the decision to suspend all non-essential Council services at 11am this morning.
“Our offices, parks, leisure and community centres, visitor and tourism facilities, harbours and marinas have been shut and bin collections suspended. These decisions were taken to ensure the safety of members of the public and our staff.
“I appeal to citizens to stay clear of our public spaces, including parks and woods, and avoid coastal walkways.
“Provision has been made for the supply of sandbags to bolster flood defences in areas prone to issues.
“Please ensure all your property is secure and be vigilant to the dangers of storm debris.
“Residents should also make sure they are prepared should they lose power in their homes. Have candles or torches close to hand and try to charge mobile phones in advance.
“Have the telephone numbers you might need nearby. As well as mobile phones, a non-mains powered landline telephone will help you stay in touch during any disruptions to your power supply.
“If you have a baby at home, make sure you have a supply of pre-prepared formula baby milk (if used) and prepare a flask of hot water to heat bottles and baby food.
“Citizens are encouraged to monitor Met Office updates, be aware of the weather conditions and heed safety warnings.
“Key statutory agencies will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds and are prepared to respond as appropriate.”
Residents should note the following numbers in case of emergency:
• Emergency services – 999 or 112
• Housing Executive – 03448 920 901
• Northern Ireland Electricity Networks – 03457 643 643
• NI Gas Emergency Service – 0800 002 001
• Northern Ireland Water Waterline – 03457 440 088
• Flooding Incident Line – 0300 2000 100
For more information, visit: midandeastantrim.gov.uk