Ireland is pretty much closed for business Monday as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begin lashing the island. Though no longer a hurricane, Ophelia could be the most powerful storm to hit Ireland in 50 years, with heavy rain and high gusts of about 90mph, report the AP and the BBC. Already, thousands are without power in southern Ireland, and the entire country is under warning. The Washington Post notes one unprecedented aspect of Ophelia: It attained Category 3 hurricane status farther east than any storm on record. (See this remarkable chart.)
Ophelia, now a post-tropical storm, also became the sixth major hurricane in the Atlantic this year, tying a record. Schools and government offices are closed across Ireland on Monday because of the storm, which is generally expected to lose power as it tracks north. Still, parts of Scotland and England also are bracing for high winds. The airport in Ireland's County Kerry is closed until Tuesday, reports CNN, and the major Shannon and Dublin airports are warning of cancellations.