More wind and rain forecast as flood warnings continue

High tides to increase risk of coastal flooding for new year, Met Éireann warns

Whooper swans on the Vartry reservoir in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Whooper swans on the Vartry reservoir in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mon, Dec 30, 2013, 01:00


Met Éireann has warned of further flooding with the approaching New Year set to bring more wind and rain.

A yellow alert, aimed at those living in exposed places, was issued last night for most of the country with winds gusting up to 80 km/h and heavy rainfall overnight of between 20 and 35 mms (an inch and a half).

The ground is saturated in many places after the heavy rain of recent weeks. To date rainfall levels in the west and south of the country are running a third ahead of the average rainfall for December with more rain to come.

Met Éireann forecaster David Rogers said heavy rain was going to be a problem over the coming days with a succession of fast-moving fronts passing over the country “with the potential to produce large amounts of rainfall which could be severe”.

He said the situation may be exacerbated by high tides over the coming days which will increase the risk of coastal flooding especially along the south and south-west coasts.

Today should start off bright and clear but more heavy rain is forecast for this evening with strengthening southerly winds.

Further heavy rain is expected tomorrow afternoon, New Year’s Eve, turning to cold, clear conditions for the start of the New Year.

The forecast for New Year’s Day is for the wet and windy conditions to continue.

ESB Networks said the storm on St Stephen’s Day was the worst in 16 years and left 100,000 homes without electricity. Over the Christmas period from December 18th to 27th, seven days were classified by ESB Networks as storm days.

The ESB claimed to have reconnected all those who remained without electricity yesterday as a result of the storm and crews were out in areas of Bandon, Killarney, Galway, Ennis, Newcastlewest and Tralee.

ESB Networks managing director Jerry O’Sullivan said his crews had worked “tirelessly to ensure that the impact for customers was kept to a minimum.”

Eircom crews are also working to restore phone and broadband services to around 9,000 customers following damage to its network.

The worst hit areas are in parts of Cork, Galway, Mayo, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow and Wexford.