Rivers burst their banks, roads flooded and sewerage facilities affected

Fri, Nov 20, 2009, 00:00

CORK:Commuters in Cork faced chaos last night as rivers across the county burst their banks causing mass flooding and rendering roads impassable.

On the western outskirts of the city, low-lying areas along the Lee Valley were badly hit and the Lee Road was under water.

Mayor of Cork County Cllr Derry Canty said roads all over the county had been closed and council workers were “under savage pressure to contain the damage and reopen the roads”.

Bandon, Macroom and Dunmanway were among the worst-affected areas and although Bandon town avoided serious flooding, many of the approach roads were under water.

Motorists travelling on the Crossbarry to Bandon road were forced to abandon their vehicles and a fallen tree on the Bandon to Macroom road caused major tailbacks yesterday morning.

In the Lee Valley, Inchigeela, Crookstown and Ballingeary were badly hit, while in north Cork, the N72 Mallow to Killarney road was badly flooded.

In Cork city, the Sarsfield Road Roundabout was badly flooded, John Street and Centre Park Road were under water and South Terrace was cleared yesterday morning though it was feared it could be badly hit with the rising of the tide. LOUISE ROSEINGRAVE

CLARE

Twenty-eight elderly and psychiatric patients had to be evacuated from a Health Service Executive unit in Ennis yesterday after water and sewage threatened to flood the facility.

Ennis fire brigade had to be called to assist with the removal of patients from the Cappahard Lodge long-stay psychiatric unit after rising flood waters caused sewage pipes to back up.

As a result, toilets at the unit were rendered useless leaving the building without sanitation. Maintenance crews were quickly called in but were unable to alleviate the problem.

Amid fears that backed-up toilets could overflow into the building posing a potentially serious health threat to patients and staff, an emergency meeting of senior HSE management from Clare and Limerick was called to discuss how best to deal with the crisis.

It was decided that a closed ward at Ennis General Hospital would be reopened to facilitate the patients. PAT FLYNN

SOUTHEAST

Wexford County Council held an emergency meeting yesterday as traders and other businesses and schools in the area around Templeshannon Quay in Enniscorthy were advised to close in anticipation of the Slaney bursting its banks. Sandbags had been distributed at key points.

Waterford fared somewhat better, but flooding was a major problem near the city and right across the county.

The Waterford-Tramore road was badly flooded and not passable. Motorists were diverted. High winds had caused slates and guttering to fall down on Parnell Street in Waterford city yesterday morning and access to adjacent streets was closed, but reopened after a short time.

Dungarvan was not badly affected but a number of roads in the west of the county were flooded. ELLA SHANAHAN

CLONMEL

The emergency services were on “high alert” in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, last night as the town braced itself for further flooding.

A number of schools in the town closed at lunchtime yesterday and homeowners were sandbagging their houses. The river Suir had already burst its banks in recent days and flooded the town’s quays. But continued rainfall throughout yesterday was causing the river level to rise further. The waterlogged quays and some other roads around the town were closed to traffic. MICHAEL PARSONS

KERRY

Many roads in Kerry were under water yesterday after a night of heavy rain and of storm.

The N71, Ring of Kerry road was closed after severe flooding at Moll’s Gap, the main junction for Kenmare and for Sneem. Cars which attempted to negotiate the 4ft floodwaters at the world famous beauty spot became stuck and fire brigade units were called.

The main N22 national primary route between Killarney and Tralee was also flooded in a number of spots on the Killarney side and the Farranfore to Castleisland road, leading to Kerry airport, was also flooded.

In an update issued last night, Kerry County Council said civil defence and council staff were manning the N70 leading into Tralee and the N22 in an effort to divert traffic. A number of roads elsewhere in the county were improving, a spokesman said. ANNE LUCEY