Residents trapped in homes overnight in Co Cork

Roads remain closed and gardaí have diversions in place for several areas deemed unsafe

Bus shelter almost submerged in floodwater in Mallow, Co Cork.  Photograph: David Morrissey

Bus shelter almost submerged in floodwater in Mallow, Co Cork. Photograph: David Morrissey

 

Civil Defence volunteers have been dispatched to help residents in a Midleton housing estate in east Cork after a local river burst its banks and trapped them in their homes overnight.

Residents in the Lauriston Estate off the Dungourney Road escaped having their homes flooded but were unable to leave the area as roadways in the estates were badly flooded after Storm Frank.

Members of the Midleton Civil Defence were dispatched early Thursday morning to assist people wanting to leave the estate, which flooded after the Dungourney river bursts its banks.

Flood waters in Midleton town centre have subsided and Main Street is passable as traders there begin a major clean-up operation after being flooded to a depth of over two feet.

However, the main Cork-Waterford Road, the N25, remained closed between Castlemartyr and Killeagh due to severe flooding with sections of the road inundated to a depth of 4ft or more.

Gardaí are currently working with Cork County Council officials to provide a diversion but heavy flooding around Mogeely is making the usual diversion route unsafe and impassable.

In Bandon, west Cork the flood waters have receded and a major clean-up operation is continuing after the town was hit with a major flood for the second time in the space of four weeks.

The town centre had been closed off throughout Wednesday after rising water levels in the River Bandon had started coming up shores and gullies, and flooding low lying areas of the town.

Oliver Plunkett Street, South Main Street, North Main Street, Bridge Street, Brady’s Lane, Weir Street and Watergate Street had all been flooded to varying depths up to 3ft.

The council staff along with Civil Defence and members from the Cork County Fire Service worked throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday battling flooding.

A team of six local farmers also came to the assistance of townsfolk, operating a relay of slurry tankers to take water from the Oliver Plunkett Street area and deposit it downstream.

Thursday morning, Bandon gardaí are reporting that the town centre is now clear of flooding and Bandon Bridge in the town is open again after being closed off all day Wednesday.

The main Cork-Bandon road remains closed between Innishannon and Bandon due to flooding after the river burst its banks and a diversion is in place via Ballylangley.

Former mayor of Bandon Sean O’Donovan said people are physically and emotionally drained from this latest flood, which was worse than the last floods that hit the town on December 5th and 6th.

Mr O’Donovan estimated 60-70 premises have been flooded on this occasion, compared to 50 or so earlier in the month, and among those flooded for the first time were houses on the New Road.

“Surface water came down the Kilbrittain Road and on to the New Road, and the Still Bar up behind the Mart was also flooded - about 3ft of water came down there in a flash flood,” he said.

“The drains just couldn’t take it and in the centre of town then, the river level rose to over 3.5m and while didn’t breach the quay walls, it just started coming up the drains and shores.”

“People are wrecked - people were moving stock on Tuesday night and then up all through the early hours of Wednesday morning sandbagging - everyone is exhausted physically and emotionally.”

“The fire brigade did great work and a number of local farmers came in with slurry tankers to help take out water - if it wasn’t for them it would have been much worse, “ he added.

In north Cork, both the main bridges in Mallow and Fermoy town centres have reopened to traffic this morning after being closed overnight as part of the flood defence systems.

Council staff erected mountable barriers in both towns to contain rising flood waters in the Blackwater, necessitating the closure of both bridges to traffic.

The flood defences in both towns worked with Bridge Street and the Spa area in Mallow and Ashe Quay, O’Neill Crowley Quay and Brian Boru Square in Fermoy all avoiding flooding.

But Park Road in Mallow, which is mainly an arterial route below the town with no buildings at road level, remained closed this morning after the Blackwater bursts its banks and flooded the town park.

Meanwhile, Cork city centre again appeared set to escape flooding with a high tide due at 9.30am as the ESB continued to discharge huge volumes of water from the Inniscarra Dam upstream of the city.

The ESB upped discharge levels to 250 cubic metres per second from Inniscarra around 9.30am Wednesday to create capacity in the reservoir in anticipation of further rain forecast.

It has continued to discharge at 250 cubic metres per second - in anticipation of Storm Gertrude - which has led to flooding of low lying agricultural land in the Lee Valley upstream of Cork city.

It has also led to flooding and closure of the Lee Road and the Carrigrohane Straight and some secondary roads around Inniscarra and along the Shournagh Valley.

But so far the western reaches of the city such as the Western Road and Mardyke and Victoria Cross areas have not been affected unlike in November 2009 when they were badly flooded.