Country braces itself for yet more heavy rain

Water levels have stabilised or are rising more slowly in Shannon catchment area

Drone footage shows the extent of the flooding on the Shannon showing around Monpelier, Castleconnell and looking across the river towards Springfield on the Clare side. Video: Tony Grehan

 

The country is bracing itself for yet more heavy rain today after Met Éireann issued a weather warning for the south and southwest.

The “status yellow” rainfall alert was issued last night as forecasts indicate between 25mm and 30mm of rain will fall in parts of Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

The heavy spell of wet weather will push up from the south during the late morning, gradually spreading northeast during the afternoon.

Forecaster Gerald Fleming said a series of approaching fronts could yet cause flooding in areas which are not under water.

“We’re in a situation where a number of those rain events have the potential to turn nasty, and potentially they could cause flooding in areas where there has been no flooding so far if that were to happen.”

The flooding situation in the west remains mixed, with waters receding gradually in the upper Shannon areas, but creeping upwards in the mid to lower Shannon catchment area. The water is rising more slowly, say local officials, but the potential for more flooding remains.

Stabilised

Towns and villages along the Shannon which have been trying to hold back floodwater were yesterday daring to hope the worst was over.

In Carrick-on-Shannon, most of the businesses in the local retail and business park managed to stay open over the past few days with the aid of sandbags, pumps and an elevated walkway.

Frances Cryan, former Olympic rower and owner of Cryan’s hotel, said they had been assured the 2009 floods were a “one in 100 year” event. Now, six years later, the floods are back.

The town has improvised its response to the floods and a shuttle bus is being run from the GAA ground to the town centre.

“Carrick is open for business,” said Gerry Faughnan, chairman of the local chamber of commerce, and the town was busy with shoppers yesterday.

Athlone Chamber of Commerce, however, is worried shoppers have stayed away due to flooding.