More rain forecast after day of downpours

 

TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS experienced across the country yesterday meant some areas have already had a month’s worth of rain – and there is more to come, Met Éireann has warned.

And late last night one person was rescued from a yacht 70km off Hook Head, Co Wexford after the boat got into difficulty in stormy weather of force seven winds and 2.8 metre swells. Only one person was on the yacht and was taken to shore by the UK search and rescue helicopter. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter and Air Corps were on standby.

Met Forecaster Pat Clarke said up to 35mm fell in parts of south Munster yesterday and a further 30mm could fall today.

Winds of up to 90km/h were experienced on the south coast in what was an unusual weather system for the time of year.

The “intense depression” approached the southwest coast yesterday morning and threw up a lot of heavy rain, Mr Clarke said. The depth of low pressure experienced was more common in autumn, winter or spring.

“We do get a lot of wet weather at times in August, usually in the form of heavy thundery showers,” he said.

But the combination of winds, rain, high seas and low pressure experienced was “a bit unusual”, he said.

Although rainfall was less than the up to 50mm forecast by Met Éireann, conditions were poor in parts of the country.

The areas worst affected were in the south, where flooding occurred in parts of Cork, Waterford city and county.

There were also problems with surface water on roads in Tipperary, Kilkenny and Wexford. The Garda issued a warning to motorists in the midlands that roads were hazardous and visibility was poor.

The northern counties experienced heavy rain later in the day with less high winds than in southern counties.

Mr Clarke said the torrential rain had not coincided with the highest winds and the highest tides, as a combination of all three could have led to worse flooding.

The west Cork town of Schull was among those hit by flash flooding at about 9am and flood waters entered a number of businesses on the Main Street of the town. One of the premises adversely affected was the Bunratty Inn, where a big clean-up was under way yesterday.

Residents and business-owners in the town of Clonakilty, and in the Cork city suburbs of Douglas and Glanmire, who were hit by serious flooding earlier in the summer, were breathing a sigh of relief after they avoided a repeat episode of the heavy floods that devasted homes and businesses at the end of June.

In the north of the county, heavy overnight and early morning rain led to flooding of a lane of the M8 motorway near the Fermoy toll plaza.

Several events due to take place across the State yesterday were affected by the conditions, including horse racing.

Racing at Gowran Park Racecourse in Co Kilkenny was cancelled due to water logging on the course. Water logging also led to the cancellation of racing at Tramore in Co Waterford.

An Athletics Ireland event at Sinnottstown Lane, Drinagh, in Wexford, was also postponed.

Two Irish Ferries high-speed ferry crossings from Dublin to Holyhead were cancelled yesterday due to the high winds at sea. Passengers were transferred to the company’s slower ferry, Ulysses.

Mr Clarke said r rain was due to extend across the country today after a sunny morning, with up to 30mm forecast for some places.

Today’s forecast will be of little comfort to farmers, who say they have been struggling to cope with record rainfalls.

Irish Farmers’ Association, president John Bryan, said weather-related problems were building up. “There are widespread reports of fodder shortages with reduced volumes of silage saved and lower quality due to the wet weather conditions,” he said.