Towns brace for flooding as Storm Brian nears

Towns along the south coast are braced for flooding as Storm Brian is set to batter the country. 

Towns brace for flooding as Storm Brian nears

As ESB and Irish Water crews braved atrocious weather conditions yesterday to restore power and water to thousands of customers still reeling from Ophelia, wind speeds of up to 130km/h are forecast for tomorrow.

A storm surge and heavy rain will combine with high tides this evening to increase the risk of flooding in low-lying coastal areas along the west and south.

Met Eireann has triggered a nationwide yellow wind warning but has issued an upgraded orange wind warning for counties Kerry, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Wexford, Clare, and Waterford for tomorrow.

About 50,000 ESB customers are still without power — the majority in Cork with areas of Bandon, Dunmanway and Fermoy worst hit.

Flooding on Centre Park Road, Cork, yesterday as the country prepared for wet weather and stormy conditions with the arrival of Brian. Picture: Larry Cummins
Flooding on Centre Park Road, Cork, yesterday as the country prepared for wet weather and stormy conditions with the arrival of Brian. Picture: Larry Cummins

Crews from Northern Powergrid in England, and 1 Engineering Corps soldiers from Collins Barracks, Cork, backed by the Air Corps were involved in the repair work around Dunmanway yesterday. About 18,000 customers in Co Wexford are without power, with Enniscorthy, Wexford town, and New Ross areas worst hit.

Crews from ERDF were to board a ferry from France last night for Rosslare where they will be deployed in Enniscorthy today.

The ESB said its crews are working field by field, tree by tree, and pole by pole to restore power, and expect to use the equivalent of three months of supplies in the restoration effort — 3,000 poles, 700km of conductor cable and 500 transformers.

Cork County Council has now warned of potential tidal flooding in low-lying areas of Bantry, Clonakilty, Youghal and Midleton from 6pm today. Sandbags will be available at local council depots this morning.

More than 30mm of rain fell in Cork yesterday morning, triggering widespread flash floods, and severe localised flooding in the city. However, council engineers said the city centre should escape major flooding this evening.

With heavy rain expected, there is a minor risk of flooding at Morrison’s Island, South Terrace and Wandesford Quay from 5.30pm to 7.30pm due to high tides, with the main impact affecting traffic movement only. No tidal flooding is expected on Saturday.

Rector Robert Ferris opened Blarney Church of Ireland yesterday to help people without water and electricity by providing tea, coffee, mobile phone chargers, water bottles, and desks for people who needed to work or do homework.

Carrigaline soccer club and Ballincollig rugby club are among the sports clubs who have made their dressing rooms available for people who need to shower or fill water bottles.

The Vienna Woods Hotel has made rooms available for people and the Ballygarvan Community Centre also opened last night to allow people boil kettles, or fill water drums or flasks.

Meanwhile, local authorities have pleaded with people to stay out of public parks which have been closed for health and safety reasons. Cork County Council said work is ongoing to deal with damaged trees in the Regional Park, Ballincollig, where a large number of other trees are vulnerable.

Fianna Fáil councillor Daithí Ó Donnabháin said: “Whereas this may be an inconvenience for some people the health and safety of park users is our concern.”

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