More stormy weather ahead, says Met Éireann

Met Éireann has warned of a major flooding risk both from expected stormy weather from Wednesday onwards and from heavy rainfall which will swell rivers already near capacity.

More stormy weather ahead, says Met Éireann

In its latest update, the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management said there were no reports of major flooding on Saturday night and into yesterday morning and there was no official status warning in place last night, but that will change.

David Kelly and Jenny O’Neill, from Belgooly, with Poppy, enjoy the sun on the beach at Garrettstown, Co Cork.

“Met Éireann has advised that the current threat of stormy weather from Wednesday onwards remains in place and the rainfall will serve to top up the already near capacity of our rivers and still poses a major risk,” it said in a statement.

“This risk is heightened in slow moving rivers and particularly the Shannon.

“The Barrow, Nore, Suir, Slaney, Lee, and Blackwater are also at very high levels and any additional rain can cause serious flooding.”

Sheba fights through the foam washed up from the sea at Owenahincha, Co Cork. Pic: Dan Linehan

The emergency service said local authorities were continuing to monitor the position in relation to river levels.

“The ESB are monitoring the levels on the rivers Liffey, Lee, and Shannon and discharges are being managed in conjunction with local authorities,” the statement added.

“The emergency services, local authority workers, and state agencies remain on high alert.”

Beachcombers Cormac and Jasper McCarthy run from the tide at Long Strand, Co Cork. Pic: Dan Linehan

A scheduled meeting of the Government taskforce on emergency planning will take place today followed by a meeting of the National Co-ordination Group.

Meanwhile, in Kerry, there have been calls for both short- and long-term interventions at Fenit Port, Tralee, after storms destroyed many of its amenities and is threatening others.

Jimmy Deenihan, the arts and heritage minister, was the latest cabinet member to view the destruction yesterday.

The village’s sewage system has been knocked out, and sewage is backing onto the blue flag beach driven by tides; the principal walkway has been completely torn up; and the causeway to Fenit Island has been breached.

Kite surfers take advantage of the weather yesterday at Garrettstown, Co Cork.

Barrow Harbour, a special area of conservation, is now under threat after two thirds of the sand dunes on the causeway were removed, prompting calls for engineering measures to stem further destruction.

“We want short-term measures, followed by medium- to long-term protection,” said Mike O’Neill, owner of a business on the waterfront, addressing a public meeting in Fenit.

He said the amenity value of Fenit “cannot be over-estimated”.

More than 100 people swim out of Fenit daily during the summer; it is the main departure port for the multi-million euro Liebherr Crane factory in Killarney; and it also has a blue flag beach, a special area of conservation, and a lively sailing and sea angling industry.

Gerry Nolan, Ardrahan, Co Galway, dealing with the flooding fallout.

Further south in Kerry, a fort on Valentia Island which dates to the 17th century has suffered severe damage and is the latest of Kerry’s historic structures to be threatened. It may have to close to the public.

Meanwhile, campaign group Save Bantry Bay has called for information about the escape of a rumoured 60,000 to 80,000 young salmon during last week’s storms.

It said it had been told the fish escaped after a company’s cage in the region dragged its anchor and upended another cage.

It said the fish that escaped were one years old and younger.

“We are particularly concerned because of the very real likelihood of further escapees,” it said.

“The protective nets have been stripped by the gales and the seas are overtopping the cages, allowing salmon to escape and predators like seals to enter.”

It also said the escape of farmed salmon is a potential disaster for native wild stock.

“These escaped fish interbreed and compete with wild salmon, transmitting disease and parasites to them,” said the group.

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