Further heavy rainfall and risk of flooding forecast

Dublin City Council to close Liffey Boardwalk until Friday due to forecasted very high tides

Windy conditions made for hair-raising shopping in Dublin city last weekend. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Windy conditions made for hair-raising shopping in Dublin city last weekend. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Mon, Dec 30, 2013, 18:54

Another band of heavy rainfall is expected across the country tonight causing “possible spot flooding”, Met Éireann has warned.

Heavy rainfall across the country late yesterday and early today already caused road closures and spot flooding on many roads.

The recent highly changeable weather has seen the risk of river flooding increase because lands are already waterlogged or saturated, Met Éireann said.

Cork County Council today issued a flood alert for Fermoy due to possible flooding of the Blackwater river. It erected flood defence barriers and advised motorists to take an alternative route.

“Some parts of the west and south have had a lot of rain in the past few days. Some of the ground is saturated and this might cause problems,” forecaster Harm Luijkx said.

In coastal areas, a combination of high tides and strong onshore winds, has also increased the risk of flooding, Met Eireann said.

Dublin City Council is closing the Liffey Boardwalk tomorow until Friday and closing flood gates on the Dodder and Tolka rivers due to forecasted very high tides. It is also putting sandbags in place at vulnerable coastal areas of Sandymount and Clontarf. In a statement, Dublin City Council said there was “no concern” about flooding and the measures were “ purely as a precaution”.

Some roads were closed due to flooding today including the Kilkenny to Paulstown Road, part of the Rosbrien Road in Limerick city and the Park Road in Mallow, Co Cork, AA Roadwatch said.

AA Roadwatch urged motorists to take “extreme care” amid many incidents of flooding and excess surface water in counties Dublin, Kilkenny, Meath, Laois, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Galway and Roscommon. Most of the flooding had receded by this afternoon when brighter weather prevailed.

AA Roadwatch advised motorists coming across floods not to drive through water unless certain it was not too deep for their car.

The New Year looks like it will get off to a wet start as a heavy band of rain is expected on Wednesday, Met Éireann said.

“It is going to be a particularly wet week,” Mr Luijkx said.

Fortunately for New Year’s Eve revellers, tomorrow night looks like being mainly dry. However there will be showers is some southern and western coasts. By New Year’s Day morning, heavy rain is expected for Munster and is forecast to spread to all areas early in the day .

While there are no signs of a repeat of the recent ”significant storms”, the weather will remain “unsettled, wet and windy” in the coming days, Mr Luijkx said.

Met Éireann forecast that the changeable conditions are likely to continue next weekend with rain expected in all parts of the country.

Meanwhile Eircom recevied a further 2,500 fault telephone and broadband lines today due to storm damage last week, as businesses began to reopen after Christmas. Eircom crews restored service to 1,500 customers today. The company continues to work on the remaining 9500 faults .

Separately Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte has praised ESB Networks’ staff for “their selfless endeavours” over Christmas in restoring power to “ more than 100,000 homes and businesses over the past two weeks.”

“While most of us were enjoying the Christmas break, ESB crews were working in very difficult weather conditions to repair the energy system,” he said in a statement issued today.

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