Flood warnings remain in place with heavy rains expected today

Concerns over the volume of water in the River Lee in Cork

Heavy rains are expected to spread across the country from the west this afternoon.

Met Éireann flood and rain warnings remain, with forecasters warning of possible flooding in coastal areas and concerns over the volume of water in the river Lee in Cork.

Many western and midland areas, particularly Longford, Roscommon and Leitrim, are already experiencing more severe flooding than usual.

Fields close to the Shannon not usually affected by flooding are beneath water this winter, and those that are usually flooded are experiencing a greater volume of water than usual


Dublin city authorities are awaiting high tide anxiously, though buoyed by yesterday’s lower than expected sea surge which failed to cause any major flooding.

"We dodged a bullet," said council spokeswoman Angela Walsh, who said there was no flooding in any of the high-risk areas – on the north city coast at Clontarf and the corresponding southside coastal stretch at Sandymount.

“For major flooding along the lines feared you need high tides, high winds and low pressure and then you’re in trouble,” said Ms Walsh.

While strollers along Dublin’s quays at midday yesterday saw the Liffey at heights rarely witnessed, the relatively calm day produced no tidal surge.

Nonetheless, the side arches of several of the river's bridges were submerged beneath high water and the river lapped at the underside of the entire Rosie Hackett Luas line bridge being built between Marlborough Street and Hawkins Street.

The Millennium Boardwalk remains closed due to flood barriers blocking entrances to it from quayside footpaths.

Tidal barriers near the mouths of the rivers Dodder on the southside and Tolka on the northside will also remain in place to protect the adjacent areas from being flooded by tomorrow's high tide which is expected at 12.30pm.

The only flooding that did occur in the city yesterday was caused by waves splashing over sea walls at Clontarf and Sandymount, creating what is called "ponding" on coastal roads in both places.

Public car parks remain closed in both locations as a precaution, and sand bags at strategic locations in Clontarf (near Alfie Byrne Road) and at Sandymount will remain in place until early next week.

Public transport remained largely unaffected by the weather yesterday.

However, because of a landslide at Waterford train station, bus transfers between Waterford and Kilkenny for Waterford-Dublin train services, and between Waterford and Carrick-on-Suir for Waterford-Limerick Junction train services, are expected to continue for a number of days.

A kite surfer who got into difficulty off Sandymount was rescued yesterday morning by the Dún Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat. The surfer abandoned his board because of the extreme weather and tried to swim ashore but was unable. Three RNLI volunteers rescued the man in southeasterly winds of up to 25 knots.

Very unsettled
Met Éireann says the outlook remains very unsettled for January, with rain and cold forecast for many areas from now and through the weekend.

In Cork, tidal surges are expected today at 6am and 6pm and again tomorrow, one hour later on each occasion.

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh is a contributor to The Irish Times