Wind and flood warnings as more severe weather forecast

East and southeast forecast to be hardest hit as bad conditions continue into Wednesday

Parts of Galway are left flooded after heavy rain, gales and high tide on Tuesday morning. Video: Joe O'Shaughnessy

 

Warnings of strong winds and coastal flooding in many parts of Ireland are to remain in place until Wednesday morning.

The east and southeast of the country are expected to suffer more miserable conditions on Wednesday although rain and gale force winds are forecast to clear up later.

Met Éireann has two status yellow weather warnings - the least severe - in place with winds of up to 65km/h and gusting to 90km/h forecast for counties Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.

A combination of those winds, heavy rain and high tides prompted concern for coastal flooding in counties Wexford, Galway, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

Several flights in and out of Dublin airport were affected by high winds on Tuesday while an air traffic control strike in France led to the cancellation of some Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Air France services.

There were widespread power outages, affecting about 1,000 customers in counties Cork, Donegal, Mayo, Dublin, Meath and Galway.

Galway and Mayo

Coastal flooding in Galway city resulted in up to 20 parked cars being partially submerged in Salthill, while part of the promenade was closed to traffic on Tuesday.

Traffic was also reduced to one lane for a time in An Spidéal due to marine debris caused by Storm Jonas’s south to south-westerly winds.

Car owners were critical of Galway City Council, accusing it of failing to issue a warning about the possibility of flooding. The Toft carpark is periodically flooded when a combination of storms and high Spring tides affect Galway Bay.

Owners said that they had received parking tickets when they had tried to park elsewhere, and called on the local authority to close the carpark altogether.

Galway City Council said a status yellow warning had been issued by Met Éireann, but while a high tide had been expected, the speed and direction of the wind had not been early on Tuesday.

A large amount of seaweed or other material had blocked up the drainage system in Salthill, compounding the high tide surge. This meant that the carpark and adjoining roads were slow to clear, a spokesman said.

The spokesman said that Toft carpark had a permanent sign stating it was liable to flooding. Local authority staff would not be “gung-ho” in relation to monitoring parking in the area during the current weather, once such parking was safe, he said. The Salthill promenade is expected to open to traffic tomorrow but Toft carpark will remain closed until Monday to allow equipment to be used to clear drains.

The storm’s tail packed a soggy sting for Co Mayo with 22.4 millimetres of rain - just less than an inch - recorded at Knock Airport in the nine hour period between midnight and 9am on Tuesday.

The result was widespread flooding on roads with the main Claremorris to Balla (N60) route blocked for a time as well as the Westport to Leenane road at Erriff.

Conditions had improved by Tuesday evening, although a close watch was being kept on the River Moy at Foxford and the River Deel in Crossmolina, Co Mayo.

Mayo County Council director of services Joe Loftus said that the Moy was close to bursting its banks in Foxford early on Monday, but said the situation has improved.

A close watch was being kept in coastal areas for potential problems caused by high tides. Fire brigade personnel were mobilised to bring a van driver to safety on Tuesday, after he drove into floodwaters at Erriff, Westport.

In a similar type operation at Killala Road, Ballina, an elderly woman was taken safely from her house by a local fire crew.

In the Westport area, about 100 homes were without electricity for a time because of damage caused by high winds.

Parts of south Galway, including homes, farmland and minor roads, are still under water, eight weeks after the first of a series of storms brought in record levels of rain.

Cork

Gardaí say the flood risk in Bandon has escalated and a code Orange warning, meaning there is a serious risk of flooding, has been issued. Property owners are being urged to take precautions.

Business owners have criticised Government measures to deal with flooding as many have been left counting the cost of the recent poor weather. Traders and locals rowed in behind a clean-up operation in recent days but after multiple floods since December they say they are tired of waiting for action.

Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Simon Harris has said the Bandon flood relief scheme is on track.

Jim Hernan of ESB Networks says repair crews have been out in Co Cork since early on Tuesday to restore electricity to impacted areas. Some 460 homes and businesses were without power in Cork city, with the majority of the outages in Mitchelstown and Donoughmore.

While the weather is not expected to deteriorate to the conditions seen last month, Cork City and County Councils remain on standby. A flood warning came in to force in the early hours of Tuesday and applies to coastal areas including Cork and Kerry.

Motorists in Cork have been advised to drive with extreme caution as surface water and flooding has been reported on a number of routes. The Mallow to Mitchelstown road, the Clonakilty to Inchydoney road and the route from Bandon to Innishannon are all affected.

The Macroom to Cork road and the route from Carrigaline to Crosshaven are also flooded.

Gardaí are monitoring the River Lee in Cork city as river is particularly high around the Morrison’s Island area.

Flooding has been recorded in South Terrace, while delays have been reported on Washington Street and the Rochestown Road due to poor weather conditions.

Kerry

Trees are also being cleared from roads in south west Kerry after heavy winds and rain overnight.

In Tralee the roads in the Ballymullen area were closed due to flooding linked to high tides but are set to re-open.

Kerry County Council also warned motorists on the main Killarney to Killorglin Road, the N72 Ring of Kerry, to watch out for flooding midway at Beaufort.

There are high winds leading to a risk of slates coming off houses in the Boherbee area of Tralee, the council also warned.

There is a power outage in the Glencar and Glenbeigh area.

Forecast

Met Éireann says “strong to gale force southerly winds will peak during the early morning with damaging gusts in exposed coastal areas.

“Widespread and persistent rain, with heavy falls in southwestern and western areas.

“However, from midmorning onwards drier conditions will develop in western counties with scattered showers and some bright or sunny spells.

“This clearance will extend to all areas during the afternoon.”