Flood alerts issued as heavy rain is forecast

A cyclist negotiates the flooded path along the Lee Fields, in Cork, yesterday. Pic: Jim Coughlan

Flood warnings have been issued after forecasters warned of at least three waves of heavy rain which are expected to cross the country over the next 36 hours.

Cork County Council put the town of Fermoy on notice of potential damage yesterday as the levels in the Blackwater rose. A earlier decision to block access to the bridge, and erect flood barriers, was postponed but gardaí said the situation was being monitored overnight as water levels rose.

There was particular concern for the southern bank of the Blackwater and the unfinished section of the town’s new flood defence system. A yellow alert was also in place for Bandon.

The rain due today will hit land that has been saturated by recent storms. Water levels already closed roads in Mallow, Limerick City, and Kilkenny.

Compounding the issue is the danger posed by the peak tides this week and strong winds driving water back on shore. On account of this, Dublin City Council closed its riverside boardwalks for safety reasons.

Today, the first of two rain fronts is forecast to hit the West coast early this morning. A second, and more prolonged, system will come in from the South West this afternoon. Met Éireann has said this system may bring thunderstorm conditions and strong winds.

There will be a reprieve tonight but radar pictures suggest that the third downpour will wash out much of New Year’s Day and continue to cause problems into Thursday.

AA Roadwatch has urged motorists to slow down and anticipate slippy surfaces and surface water.


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