Communities battle new flood threat

PARTS of Cork resembled a war zone last night as communities piled up thousands of sandbags in an effort to hold back the flood waters.

In Fermoy, a major flood alert was declared last night amid fears that a disaster equal to that of last November was about to unfold. Officials said Blackwater flood waters were not expected to peak until the early morning today.

Among the areas under severe threat of flooding were Brian Boru Square, O’Neill Crowley Quay, Mill Road and Rathhealy Road.

In west Cork, the army and civil defence filled 4,000 sandbags to protect Skibbereen town centre.

In Mallow hopes were being pinned on recently installed flood barriers. Bridge Street in the town was closed off and flood waters, expected to reach their peak at midnight, were not as intense as late last year. Areas around Glanmire were also flooded. The Curraheen, Glasheen, Tramore and Shournagh rivers, which all feed in to the Lee, overflowed with heavy rain and melting snow water. This resulted in minor flooding in low-lying areas of the city and the AA reported problems on several main arteries in Cork City, including Sarsfield Road, Kinsale Road, and Centre Park Road. Met Éireann said 44mm of rain had fallen in Valentia Observatory by midday yesterday.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of the country’s 4,000 schools are expected to have reopened by this morning.

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