Heavy rain showers to continue


The country is bracing itself for more wet and windy weather today, after yesterday’s heavy rain caused widespread traffic delays.

More heavy rainfall fell overnight in many parts of Munster, Connacht, Leinster and west Ulster, accompanied by strong winds along western and southern coasts.

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Met Éireann forecast that an average month’s worth of rain would fall across the country in a 24- to 36-hour period and up to 80mm in some areas. Weather forecaster Gerald Fleming said the deluge was comparable to the heavy rain that caused widespread flooding in November 2009.

“We have had a fairly long dry spell, and although the last week has brought significant rain and some of the ground is saturated, I don’t think it will bring that level of flooding,” he said. “But I would still be concerned.”

Heavy rain all morning and right through yesterday has resulted in very wet conditions on roads across the country. There is surface water and some localised flooding to contend with, but no major closures at this time.

AA Roadwatch said the worst affected areas are in parts of the northwest and through south Leinster. Rain is moving eastwards and conditions have improved somwehat in southern counties.

Surface water is a particular problem on secondary routes and motorists are advised to drive with extra care, reduce their speed and use dipped headlights.

Flooding has left several areas around Newcastle West in Co Limerick impassable. Elsewhere, extreme caution is advised on the N80 Portlaoise to Carlow road in Co Laois.

In Kilkenny, there is flooding in parts on the N78 Castlecomer/Kilkenny road and on roads around Freshford. Bleech road in Kilkenny city is currently impassable.

Localised flooding is reported in Sligo town while the Carrowroe to Dromahair road is closed.

Gardai are urging to motorists to take extreme care on the Monasterevin/Kildare Rd (Old N7) leaving Monasterevin due to excess surface water.

Met Éireann meteorologist Pat Clarke said there was a risk of a further 20mm to 30mm of rain today, but clearer weather was expected by evening.

“It will be wet and windy at first, but it will begin to brighten in Kerry and west Cork in the morning, and drier, brighter weather with just a few showers will extend northeastwards throughout the afternoon and evening,” he said. “The rain will be gone from Ulster by nightfall.”

Saturday and Sunday will be mostly dry, with some sunshine, though temperatures will be a few degrees lower than normal.

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