Cork braces itself for possible flooding as weather warning issued

Flooding risk expected in coming days as strong winds are forecast to meet spring tides

Strong winds are forecast to meet spring tides in the coming days, bringing a risk of floods, particularly in Cork. File photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Strong winds are forecast to meet spring tides in the coming days, bringing a risk of floods, particularly in Cork. File photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

 

Met Éireann has issued a weather warning for parts of Tuesday and Wednesday, when strong winds are forecast to meet spring tides, bringing a risk of floods, particularly in Cork and elsewhere on southern coasts.

The status yellow wind warning is valid from 9pm on Tuesday to 9am on Wednesday and covers Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. During the period in question, southerly winds are expected to reach mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h with gusts of up to 100km/h.

The new warning comes as a marine warning for small craft on all Irish coasts is currently in place.

Cork city, which was flooded in 2014, 2019, and again as recently as October last, is bracing itself for possible further flooding amid the conditions expected in the coming days, with Cork County Council also issuing a warning over possible flooding to residents and traders in coastal areas and in Dunmanway and Midleton.

The council warned that “a period of very high astronomical spring tides approaching what is known as the highest astronomical tide (HAT) will commence on Tuesday and continue for four days up to Friday, December 18th”.

Storm surges

Coastal areas where high tides of 3.6m are expected include Bantry on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Storm surge levels are predicted to increase by 0.5m in Bantry from Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday.

Cork County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team convened on Monday. In a statement on Monday afternoon, the council said that while it was “too soon to forecast surge conditions that will occur”, the council called on coastal communities and property owners and those in Dunmanway and Midleton to undertake appropriate measures to protect property.

It highlighted the Bailick Road and Dwyers Road in Midleton as areas of particular concern.

Council staff are deploying sandbags and pumps and the council said members of the public were advised to “stay high, stay dry and stay away from the coast, rivers and lakes”.

Issues such as fallen trees and road damage can be reported to the local Cork County Council office during working hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or via the emergency number 021-4800048 outside of these hours.