Businesses and homes flooded in Wexford after intense rainfall ends heatwave

Council seeking to support businesses and homeowners as clean up begins

A small number of households and businesses are without power on Tuesday morning following flash flooding yesterday.

ESB Networks said a handful of properties, mostly in the Munster region, are affected as its crews worked to restore power to thousands of households on Monday.

Clean-up operations are under way across parts of the country as heavy downpours and flooding marked the end of the heatwave on Sunday night with a status orange thunderstorm weather warning in place for Munster and South Leinster. All weather warnings have now been lifted.

Eamonn Hore, Director of Services at Wexford County Council, said New Ross had been particularly affected with 38 businesses and upwards of 30 houses flooded.

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Mr Hore told RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Tuesday that the intensity of rain had been “incredible” and the emergency management team would be meeting later this morning.

Work continued overnight pumping water from business premises on Main Street where basements were flooded, he said.

Mr Hore said it was his understanding there had been 40mm of rainfall in one hour. Even homes which were 30-40m above the level of the town’s quays experienced flooding, he added.

Local business owner Brian Bailey, who operates a craft gallery and picture framing workshop, told of how “the skies opened” and the flood water “just came down”.

His workshop was in the basement of his premises, when the flood water surged down the street it came in through the grate at street level and “burst” a window to flow into the workshop “like a river”.

“Everything is destroyed. I’m not the only one, lots of people experienced serious damage. Nobody could stop it, the water had incredible force. In the 100 years this building has been here there has never been flooding like this,” he said.

“There is going to be a lot of cleaning up today. My workshop is destroyed, all the material gone. We will just have to knuckle down to clean up what we can and get a skip. The timber floors in the workshop are destroyed, it will take a long time to clean up.”

One of the worst affected areas was Castlerea, Co Roscommon where 20mm of rain (almost an inch) fell in just a half-an-hour causing flash flooding in the town. Carron in Co Clare also got 20mm in less than an hour.

Localised flash flooding was reported in Tullow, Co Carlow on Monday evening. There was also heavy rain and lightning in Co Limerick while lightning was also reported in many other locations including counties Cork, Meath, Galway, Donegal, Sligo, Cavan and Louth.

A lightning strike in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny cut supplies to 5,000 customers.

Met Éireann said it will be dry for most of Tuesday morning with some scattered light showers. There will be some sunny spells also and showers will become more isolated throughout the day.

Highest temperatures will be between 15 and 20 degrees.

Wednesday will be mostly dry with hazy sunny spells. A few isolated showers will persist in parts of the northeast and east. Highest temperatures will be between 15 to 21 degrees, coolest in the northwest and mildest in the southeast.

The forecaster said the national outlook for the rest of the week is generally unsettled with rain and showers, potentially turning wet and breezy over the weekend.

Vivienne Clarke

Vivienne Clarke is a media monitor and reporter

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times