Chaos for commuters as high tides peak during rush hour

The flooded main street in Youghal

The eastern part of Co Cork suffered most from flooding and storm damage and with high tides peaking during morning rush-hour yesterday, there was chaos for commuters.

Youghal was battered by waves brought in by the high tide, which peaked at 7.55am.

The water poured into the back quays, making them impassable to traffic. The flood crept all the way up Main St as far as the post office and gardaí, aided by the Coastguard, were forced to divert traffic around the town.

“Collins’ bakery, Paddy Power bookies, O’Neill Fuels, and Roma Grill — which had just been re-furbished — were among the properties hit on Main St,” said councillor Barbara Murray. “People were also sweeping water out of properties in Brown St.”

She said many property owners had handed sandbags back to the council only days earlier, feeling that the worst had passed.

Ms Murray was helping to organise fresh deliveries to households yesterday. “It isn’t over yet,” she said. “We were lucky the south-easterly gale abated when it did, otherwise it could have been horrendous.”

Great Island and Cobh were all but cut off as high tides engulfed the only bridge into the area at Belvelly.

Two cars got stuck in the flood there, while those who managed to get through were faced with running the gauntlet on the flood-stricken Fota Road.

On other parts of the island, council workers had to clear fallen trees from roads, which caused further delays. To compound commuters’ problems, high tide forced the cancellation of the river ferry from 7.30am to 8.30am and train services were also cancelled over the same period.

“I have worked here for the past 20 years and I’ve never seen it so bad,” a Garda spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the Midleton area also suffered from the deluge, where the Bailick Rd, which runs adjacent to the estuary, was flooded as were a number of nearby properties. Council staff managed to reopen the road at lunchtime.

Nina Byrne, who owns Jacko’s pub in Ballinacurra, was up at 5.45am putting up her floodgates and sandbags. “We’ve been flooded before, but this was as bad as I’ve ever seen. There are houses near me which got flooded,” she said.

Flooding on Carrigaline to Crosshaven and Monkstown to Raffeen roads also caused delays.

The council was forced to close the main Kinsale to Ballinspittle road near the Trident Hotel for a number of hours due to high tides.

Flooding caused the square to close in Bantry on Saturday, but the town escaped yesterday. Flood barriers were erected in Mallow. Park Rd, in the centre of the town, did flood, but the water did not get into Bridge St. Spot flooding was also reported around Cork Racecourse.

Council crews dealt with a number of fallen trees, especially in the Fermoy and Kanturk areas and in Castletownbere, where they brought a number of power lines down.

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