Flood Latest: River Shannon water levels falling, but risk remains in many areas

Flood Latest: River Shannon water levels falling, but risk remains in many areas

Update (3.44pm): The Office of Public Works (OPW) said this afternoon that water levels on the River Shannon have started to fall or remained stable.

Levels on the river remain above 2009 thresholds and the flooding threat still remains, however.

The ESB is holding the discharge at Parteen Weir at 470 cubic metres a second.

In Cork, discharges on the Lee at Inniscarra are now normal.

Elsewhere, it has cut the outflow at Poulaphouca on the Liffey from 45 to 15 cumecs because of today's expected rainfall.

Jim Casey from the OPW said that some rivers in the east and north-east of the country are now being monitored very closely.

“We remain in a high-flood situation on each of the following catchments in particular: the Suir, the Barrow, the Slaney and the Boyne.

“They need to be monitored carefully over the coming days, especially with the forecast rainfall, and also perhaps in Wicklow and the Avoca river, Arklow area.”

Update (3.35pm): President of the Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers' Association Patrick Kent says the €2m flood relief funding for farmers is not enough.

“I wouldn’t imagine so,” he said. “It’s not just a question of compensation alone, these people need to be secure in the knowledge that this flooding is not going to reoccur on an annual basis.

“And so remedial work has to be done on the Shannon, between the ocean and the lakes, to increase the capacity of it – to take away the water quickly.

“And that hasn’t been done, that hasn’t been addressed.”

Update 2pm: There is fresh concern about flash flooding on roads in the north east of the country tonight and tomorrow morning as more rain is forecast.

Met Éireann says the system which is sweeping up from the south-west of the country is now slower moving than it previously thought and will linger over Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath.

Forecaster Gerald Fleming said: "It's a little slower than we had originally thought, so it'll be slower to clear and will still be hanging over Northern Ireland and the northeastern parts of the Republic - that's down over Meath, Louth, Monaghan and Cavan - into tomorrow morning and will finally clear then.

"A lot of the land is already very wet, so we're watching what it does in that context and what extra it adds to the burden that's already there."

Update 1.15pm: The Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has announced €2m in funding to help farmers who have suffered fodder losses as a result of flooding.

The scheme was agreed by the Government yesterday.

The support will apply to the loss of silage, hay, straw and concentrates where there is evidence of damage caused by flooding.

Update 12.20pm: Revenue says people whose homes have been flooded can apply to have some of their taxes deferred.

Officials claim they want to avoid adding to people's distress and are offering a chance to delay payment on bills including Property Tax, VAT and PAYE or PRSI.

Strict terms and conditions apply and a dedicated helpline is open for queries on 1890 20 30 70.

Earlier: Clare County Council has said it is anticipating an increase in water levels on the Lower River Shannon at Springfield, Clonlara, this evening and overnight.

The council said futher rain and the flow of water from Parteen Weir by the ESB (470 cubic metres per second) will contribute to the higher levels.

It means areas downstream - including Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick - are in danger of flooding.

Rescue services working in Clonlara during the floods last month.
Rescue services working in Clonlara during the floods last month.

The Local Authority, assisted by Clare Civil Defence and The Defence Forces, is maintaining a 24-hour presence to help households affected by flooding.

Around 5,000 sandbags are in the Springfield area to help people in 15 properties, and more sandbags are on standby if required.

There are also 30 pumps operating in the area.

Met Éireann currently has a Yellow Weather Advisory in place for County Clare and is forecasting that a band of rain will move north-east over Ireland from this afternoon, bringing around 15 to 25mm of rain.

Hugh McGrath, Killaloe District Engineer, Clare County Council said: "Water levels have dropped two inches overnight and are now approximately 6-7 inches below the November 2009 peak level which was reached on Saturday night last.

"We expect water levels to increase further overnight tonight and as a result standard operating and response procedures are in place in the event of additional flooding incidents occurring.

"The Council is also monitoring the Mulkear River which enters the Lower River Shannon south of Annacotty in County Limerick. When in flood, this river can negatively impact on water levels in the Lower River Shannon."

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