Rain to ease today but will be back
THE PERSISTENT rain which led to flooding in the east yesterday will ease off this afternoon, but more unsettled weather is on the way for the weekend, according to Met Éireann.
“The worst is over, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” Met Éireann forecaster Vincent O’Shea said. While the rains eased overnight, it will remain damp and misty for most of this morning, Mr O’Shea said. “Unfortunately, any further rain will affect the areas which have already been badly hit, particularly Leinster and east Ulster.”
Meanwhile, an Oireachtas Committee heard yesterday that “extreme” flood events have cost the insurance industry almost €700 million since 2000.
Floods last June resulted in 1,260 insurance claims, costing €54 million, the Irish Insurance Federation told an Oireachtas environment committee.
The cumulative cost of just eight floods since 2000 was €679 million, but just 2 per cent of policies have flood cover excluded despite this, federation representative Michael Horan said. “Availability of flood cover is not a problem for the vast majority of householders.”
However, members of the committee said this was not the experience of their constituents.
Labour TD Kevin Humphreys said that despite an €8.5 million investment in flood defences along the Dodder river to prevent flooding in Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount, residents living near the river in Dublin found it “all but impossible” to get cover for flood damage.
Committee chairman Ciarán Lynch said people living near rivers were going to find it even more difficult to get cover in the future because of the use of “geo-coding” by insurance companies. This method of assessing risk meant people living within a particular radius of a flood risk were excluded from cover, or had to pay an excess on their policy – even if they lived on high ground which never flooded.
Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the behaviour of insurance companies was “outrageous”.
Some 50mm of rain fell over a 36-hour period between Monday and yesterday, leading to flooded roads across Leinster, with north Dublin and south Meath particularly badly affected.
One housing estate in Bettystown, Co Meath, was flooded yesterday. Fire brigade units from Navan and Drogheda, Co Louth, spent several hours pumping water from the roads in the Northlands estate in an effort to protect houses from flooding.
A spokeswoman for Meath County Council said there was an adequate supply of sandbags to protect the houses and there were no reports of flooding of properties.
There will be something of a reprieve from the rains today with possibly some “glimpses of sun” in the afternoon, said Mr O’Shea. Thursday is set to be dry everywhere but will stay cloudy, giving little opportunity for the ground to dry out before rain returns on Friday. “It will be broadly unsettled over the later part of the week and into the weekend. There will be rain everywhere at some stage over Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” he said.