More floods due as wettest winter on record forecast

Wide areas of the country suffered heavy rain and widespread flooding — and the ensuing chaos and mop-up yesterday.

Roads were closed, trains delayed, and homes became flooded in the deluge, with some schools forced to close.

The east of the country suffered the most and there may be worse to come, according to forecasters who warn that this winter is shaping up to be the wettest on record.

Last month saw an annual rainfall increase of 50% while, so far in November, we are experiencing double the average level of rain for this time of year.

Met Éireann issued an orange alert weather warning for Dublin and surrounding counties, as water rose up to a metre in parts of Dublin and Kildare, with drivers becoming trapped in their cars and homes flooded.

Housing estates were flooded in Cleristown and Rosslare in Co Wexford, in Bettystown and Summerhill in Meath, and in Athy in Kildare.

Dublin Fire Brigade was handling 60 distress calls an hour on Thursday and fire service personnel had to use a rubber dinghy to rescue a driver in Malahide after his vehicle became stuck in floods, while in Terenure an underground carpark overflowed and water spread into houses.

A number of homes were flooded across south Dublin, while in Kildare a couple had to be rescued from their BMW as flash floods hit minor roads between Naas and Straffan.

While no property damage was reported, rain may have been a factor in two accidents on Cork’s South Ring Rd and on the Fermoy-Ballyduff Rd.

The west of the country escaped the worst of the bad weather, with no reports of problems on the roads in counties Mayo and Galway.

AA Roadwatch warned yesterday that heavy rain over the past 24 hours was still causing traffic disruption. There remains excess surface water on many roads, with flooding in places.

“Extreme care is advised,” AA said in a statement. “Reduce your speed and keep a safe distance between you and the car in front. Only drive through water if you know it’s not too deep for your car.”

While Met Éireann has down stood down its orange rainfall alert, it advises that more showers are expected today, but with some bright spells as well.

The showers could turn heavy again in the east and south while remaining drier and brighter elsewhere. Top temperatures of 10- 12 degrees C, with light to moderate breezes, are also forecast.

Tonight will be dry in many areas but showers will continue in the coastal counties of Munster, Leinster, and east Ulster while tomorrow will bring sunny spells and showers.

The outlook for next week is for showers or longer spells of rain in the eastern half of the country, while temperatures are expected to fall dramatically on Wednesday night, with frost in many areas.


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