Flood waters swept over Cork city centre again last night after another Atlantic storm battered the city and the city was subject to a status orange wind warning.
A high tide of over 5m, low pressure, and rain from the south-west were behind the flooding and Met Éireann was anticipating from 25mm to 45mm of rain between last night and 9pm this evening. Overnight wind speeds of up to 115km/h were also predicted.
The River Lee burst its bank at Father Mathew Quay nearly 40 minutes before high tide at 8.50pm. It then swept up South Mall and over to Oliver Plunkett St by high tide. St Patrick’s Street was under 2ft of water by 9pm.
Even though he had at least 1ft of water in his shop, Mike Cronin of Mike Cronin’s Menswear on Oliver Plunkett St said last night that it “still wasn’t as bad as I’d expected”. He had lifted up all stock and had used the sandbags provided by the city council.
Meanwhile, Ursula Houston of Houston’s Office said many businesses weren’t able to trade today as “an awful of heavy electrical equipment can’t be lifted off the floor”. There were up to 3ft of water running through the middle of the road traversing South Mall but a dip at the centre meant flood damage in businesses was minimal.
Up to 60 businesses around Oliver Plunkett St, the South Mall, St Patrick’s Street, and the quays were already flooded on Sunday night when the river once again burst its banks. Centre Park Rd, Monahan Rd, and the Lower Glanmire Rd were also at risk last night.
This is the city’s third flooding event since Christmas and calls for Cork City Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) to update traders on their planned flood defence works is growing daily.
However, at the Bullman pub in Kinsale the waves were lapping up against its front door as the nearby water seawall couldn’t keep the waves back. The nearby road had also collapsed.
Meanwhile, the road from Crosshaven to Carrigaline was also impassable early last evening as water levels rose.
Cork city manager Tim Lucey had asked people to avoid the city yesterday evening and Kinsale gardaí were warning people not to travel unless necessary.
By early evening, late classes had been cancelled at St John’s College and at the College of Commerce.
By early evening, trees were down between Coachford and Farran and around Mallow. There was also flooding at Riverstick. There were trees down on the road between Blarney and Tower, between Bandon and Enniskeane. And ESB Networks reported faults in Ballydehob, Goleen, and Rosscarbery areas of West Cork. The company said high winds also caused faults in Blarney, Inniscarra, Kerrypike, Carrigrohane and Gurteen areas, and that its repair crews were working to restore power.
Last night, the ESB said it did not anticipate that it would need to need release excess water from the Inniscarra dam later today — a procedure that caused mayhem in the city in 2008.
“Since mid December, the ESB have recorded an average figure in excess of 500mm at rainfall sites in the Lee catchment area. At 1pm yesterday, the water level at Inniscarra reservoir was within normal operating range and the ESB does not anticipate any significant releases from Inniscarra dam in the ensuing 24 hours. However, this is dependant on the rainfall amounts last night. This will be closely monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis.”
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