'Everything is destroyed': Biblical rain, flash flooding and hailstones the size of golfballs 

'Everything is destroyed': Biblical rain, flash flooding and hailstones the size of golfballs 

Flooding in Tullow, Co Carlow.

Towns around the country are dealing with the aftermath of flash flooding after torrential downpours overnight.

The Government has said support will be available for households in the worst-hit areas.

After record high temperatures last week, the country was hit with more extreme weather as a deluge of rain and hail wreaked havoc.

Homes and businesses are assessing the damage today and motorists have been urged to take care in the areas worst affected by flooding.

The flooding was localised, with the south and southeast of the country getting the worst of it.

Mallow in Cork saw the highest total rainfall yesterday with 66mm while Tullow in Carlow had 40mm of rain in one hour.

 

A status orange thunderstorm warning was in place for 14 counties until 10pm last night, warning of “heavy downpours of rain and hail” as well as flooding for several counties.

However, the downpours continued through the night in many areas.

Shocking footage and images of the rainstorms have emerged on social media, with many saying they had "never seen the likes of it" and others describing it as biblical.

 

One of the worst hit areas was New Ross in Wexford where several inches of water flowed down main streets.

The emergency management team of Wexford County Council will meet this morning to assess the damage caused by a "cloud burst" that saw 40mm of rainfall in one hour.

The council’s director of services, Eamon Hoare, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that social and humanitarian assistance will be provided to businesses and homeowners impacted by the flooding.

Work continued overnight pumping water from business premises on Main Street where basements were flooded.

Even homes that were 30-40m above the level of the town’s quays experienced flooding, said Mr Hoare.

Support will be available for householders affected by the severe flooding in Wexford, the Minister for Social Protection confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

Officials are currently engaging with Wexford County Council and other agencies to ensure supports will be provided as quickly as possible.

The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme provides financial assistance towards the replacement of essential personal belongings, goods and appliances.

"The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme has been activated and any families and individuals in need of assistance can contact our Community Welfare Service teams to assist with financial support," said Minister Heather Humphreys.

Householders needing to make enquiries about the supports available to them can contact the department at 0818 60 70 80 or email cwswexford@welfare.ie.

 

Local business owner Brian Bailey, who operates a craft gallery and picture framing workshop told of how “the skies opened” and the flood water “just came down”.

His workshop was in the basement of his premises, when the flood water surged down the street it came in through the grate at street level and "burst" a window to flow into the workshop “like a river”.

“Everything is destroyed. I’m not the only one, lots of people experienced serious damage. Nobody could stop it, the water had incredible force.

"In the 100 years this building has been here there has never been flooding like this.

“There is going to be a lot of cleaning up today. My workshop is destroyed, all the material gone. We will just have to knuckle down to clean up what we can and get a skip.

"The timber floors in the workshop are destroyed, it will take a long time to clean up.” 

Mr Hoare said that the council will provide skips to assist in the clean-up.

I saw the devastation. It is heartbreaking for people.” 

The full extent of the damage has yet to be determined, he added. So far 38 businesses and 30 homes are flooded, but some people were away and might not yet be aware of damage.

“It was incredible, the rain. It was 40mm in an hour. We’ve never seen the likes before. You don’t see hailstones in August, they were half the size of golf balls and punched holes in perspex.” 

Five units of fire brigades from the surrounding areas assisted at the scene and all roads in New Ross this morning are passable “with care”, he said.

People are determined to get back to work and into their homes.

When asked if any preparation could have been done since there was a storm warning, Mr Hoare said that 40mm of rainfall in one hour could not have been anticipated.

No water pipes could cope with that. Remedial works on the River Barrow in 2016 had helped somewhat.

There will be some relief today with showers becoming more isolated with more sunny spells developing through the day.

Tonight will be largely dry with a mix of cloud and clear spells with a few passing showers.

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