'There is still a long way to go': Cork warned to stay on high alert over flooding risk

Cork City is at risk of serious flooding, with city council officials saying this will be a 48-hour event.
'There is still a long way to go': Cork warned to stay on high alert over flooding risk

Council staff were out around the Carrigrohane road since before 7am to put up warning signs for motorists braving the conditions, as spots of surface flooding began to emerge. Picture: Padraig Hoare

Hundreds of people are without power across Cork City and County as heavy rain and strong winds continue to cause disruptions.

Power outages have been reported in Glanmire, Whitechurch, Carrigtowhill, Bealnablath, Dunmanway, Rathmore and Macroom. ESB crews are currently working on the faults.

A cursory inspection of the city centre and its surrounding areas such as Glanmire, Carrigrohane, and the Mardyke suggested that Cork had escaped the worst of any overnight flood threat.

The rain, while extremely heavy at times, did not give rise to the mass pluvial flooding that emergency workers and council staff had feared. But officials have cautioned that just because the city and county had largely escaped a significant event so far, potentially peak times for danger were still ahead.

Caution and preparedness remain the priority for residents and businesses alike, they said.

Council staff were out around the Carrigrohane road before 7am to put up warning signs for motorists braving the conditions, as spots of surface flooding began to emerge.

The Lee Fields were largely submerged underwater, but nearby facilities such as the Kingsley Hotel and County Hall, so damaged in 2009 during the last great flood, appeared to be in little danger so far this morning.

Glanmire, also prone to devastating flooding for residents in the past, held firm overnight with none of the particularly vulnerable housing estates seeing any damage as of yet, although there remained a cautious and prepared vibe in the air for those gauging conditions around 8am.

Blackpool, which has been historically pummelled when serious flooding occurs throughout the city, also escaped any damage overnight, with the much-maligned culverts holding firm so far.

Surface water remained the biggest issue for residents and motorists moving in the area around 8am, with Watercourse Road closed and diversions into the city via Gerald Griffin St.

The first casualties of the onslaught of rain in Cork this morning were almost 3,000 homes in the Douglas area, which lost power during the night.

The ESB fault line reported that the homes lost power around 4am, but that its engineers continued to work on the fault, and it was on course to be restored after 5am.

By 6.30am, just 20 homes were left in the dark, according to the ESB, with an estimated restoration after 8am.

The Lee Fields held a compelling beauty as the wild weather smothered everything in sight, but nearby facilities such as the Kingsley Hotel and County Hall, so damaged in 2009 during the last great flood, were thankfully in little danger so far this morning. Picture: Padraig Hoare

The Lee Fields held a compelling beauty as the wild weather smothered everything in sight, but nearby facilities such as the Kingsley Hotel and County Hall, so damaged in 2009 during the last great flood, were thankfully in little danger so far this morning. Picture: Padraig Hoare

Otherwise, ominous surface flooding had been gathering since around 8pm on Monday, in flood-prone areas such as Blackpool and the Carrigrohane Road, and by midnight had proved to be enough for cars to get stuck or be at risk of aquaplaning if sensible precautions were not taken.

Cork City Council last night closed the Lee Road, the Cloghroe Road and Inniscarra Road.

Many other roads across the city have surface water and ponding including the Carrigrohane Road, Inchigaggin Lane and roads between Inniscarra and the city.

There are reports of an overturned car on the N22 between Macroom and Lissarda. Emergency services are at the scene.

A status orange rainfall warning is in place for Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford until 9pm, with up to 80mm forecast to fall in places.

Cork City Council director of services David Joyce warned those who thought that the worst of the rainstorm was over during the night to stay alert.

‚ÄúThis is early days, and while the rain wasn‚Äôt as heavy overnight as what it could have been, there is still a long way to go. We would urge people to take as many precautions to protect themselves as possible,‚ÄĚ he said.

Cork City is at risk of serious flooding, with city council officials saying this will be a 48-hour event.

The Carrigrohane Rd and the Lee Fields on Tuesday morning during severe weather conditions. Picture: Padraig Hoare

The Carrigrohane Rd and the Lee Fields on Tuesday morning during severe weather conditions. Picture: Padraig Hoare

City council crews had been working through the night to fight localised outbreaks and danger spots, with road closures such as Cloghroe and the Lee Road necessary, and areas such as Inchagaggin Lane and the Carrigrohane Road being monitored closely.

Mr Joyce said water levels in the Shournagh tributary of the River Lee were rising rapidly and could pose a significant risk.

The city’s flood plan has been activated and the Defence Forces are on standby.

Sandbags and gel bags can be collected from Anglesea Terrace and Tramore Valley Civic Amenity Site from 8am this morning.

Director of Roads at Cork County Council, Padraig Barrett, says its crews have been working through the night finalising flood defences.

"So we've pumps on standby in Bantry, Dumnamway, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Roscarbery, Bandon and in Midleton.

"In North Cork, on the Blackwater River, the flood defences have been erected in Mallow to mode three and in Fermoy to mode seven which are the highest levels in both towns, so that's an unprecedented move."

A similar status yellow alert is in place across the rest of the country, while a wind warning is in place for eight counties

  • If you are based in Cork City and want to report an issue, you can contact Cork City Council‚Äôs Customer Service Unit at 021 492 4000 from 9am-5pm or the council's out-of-hours emergency number at 021 496 6512.
  • For those in Cork county, fallen trees, flooding, and road damage should be reported to the council‚Äôs emergency out-of-hours number at 021 4800048.

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