Further heavy rain showers expected today

Met Éireann warns of potential flooding with second burst of severe rainfall

Warnings of a second spell of heavy rain were issued overnight with a potential for flooding from Dublin to Cork and into some midland counties this morning.

Met Éireann said yesterday's downfall was the most severe weather event since the summer, with rainfall reaching levels of 30mm in the worst-hit areas around counties Dublin, Louth and Meath.

Last night a status-orange weather warning was flagged for thundery rainfall in Munster and Leinster, with total levels over the two days expected to reach as much as 60mm. An average monthly total is about 90mm.

"We have another belt of rain coming up tonight and tomorrow morning and that is going to be of a similar intensity," Met Éireann head of forecasting Gerald Fleming said last night.

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“We are quite concerned that what we have seen [yesterday] will be added to.”

Kayakers

In

spite of the conditions, there were few reports of serious incidents around the country last night.

In Co Wicklow a group of seven kayakers contacted emergency services when one of their party was washed away on the river Inchavore near Lough Dan. He was later recovered unconscious and his condition last night was unclear. A Coast Guard helicopter lifted three of the party to Tallaght hospital shortly after 4pm, although it is thought there were concerns for only one individual.

In Termonfeckin, Co Louth, a woman was rescued from the roof of her car after it entered a river that had burst its banks, just after 5pm. She was the only occupant and was pulled to safety by members of the Clogherhead Coast Guard unit.

There was significant flooding on stretches of road in Leinster and surrounding areas yesterday and last night’s rain is expected to have a further impact on traffic movement today.

Rain is set to affect the south initially before spreading countrywide by this morning, with Munster and Leinster bearing the brunt.

Thundery downpours

That rainfall is likely to clear northwards during the morning but will be replaced by strong, gusty winds and further thundery downpours, particularly in the south and southeast.

Mr Fleming said conditions were likely to remain similarly threatening over the coming weeks.

“Thirty millimetres is a good drop of rain. Between what has already fallen and what is expected it will be up to 60mm. In a 24-hour spell that is a serious amount of rain,” he said.

“We could see temporary flooding [today]. There are two problems: one is you get the roads flooding, which drains away but you can get roads closed for a few hours. The bigger problem is that some of the rivers could burst their banks in places.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times