Roads reopen after record rains cause flash floods

 

Roads around the country have reopened after record rainfall caused serious flooding overnight.

The clean-up operation began this morning after heavy rains closed road and rail links across the country and saw a number of major events cancelled.

Met Eireann's weather station in Dublin Airport recorded 76.2mm of rain between midnight on Friday night and midnight last night, 3mm more than was recorded on the previous wettest day when Hurricane Charlie hit in 1986.

The record levels of rainfall left a large number of roads impassable including the M50 between the Finglas and Ballymun exits and the Port Tunnel. The Port Tunnel southbound was reopened this afternoon, and was toll-free until 4pm to accomodate traffic going to Croke Park. The M50 has now reopened in both directions following earlier closures.

Kilkenny, Cork and Kildare fans heading to Dublin for All-Ireland hurling and football quarter finals in Croke Park were asked to avoid the M50 and to expect severe delays.

The N3 has now reopened at in both directions at the Blanchardstown shopping centre flyover, although motorists are urged to be cautious when approaching the area.

The M1 at Whitehall has also re-opened following earlier closures.

Units of the Civil Defence were mobilised in Dublin to help the fire brigade pump water from homes and businesses. Dublin Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne thanked the emergency services involved.

“This was an unprecedented and extreme weather event and it is great to hear that serious injury and fatality have been avoided.

“We hope to see a return to normality later this evening with the clean-up operation now in full swing.”

In Kildarde, the town of Celbridge was badly affected with sewage causing serious problems after backing up on to the town's main street and flood waters reaching over over two feet in some housing estates.

In Co Laois there was serious flooding on the road between Ballyroan and Portlaoise after a river burst its banks. The road was not closed but motorists were urged to proceed with caution.

Last night's football match between Shamrock Rovers and Sunderland in Tolka Park was cancelled and the Tullamore Show has also been called off for the second year running due to the weather.

It had been expected to attract 50,000 spectators and is the country’s biggest one-day rural event.

“Due to the unprecedented amount of rain that has fallen over the last 24 hours, the current state of the showgrounds, the health and safety of visitors and the welfare of show animals the executive committee are bitterly disappointed to announce that this year’s Tullamore Show and AIB National Livestock Show has been cancelled," the show's organisers said in a statement.

Racing at the Curragh was also called off.

The Dart link between Malahide and Howth Junction has reopened while rail services heading north are also running normally following disruptions yesterday evening and this morning.

While conditions brightened this morning, more wet weather is on the way. The remainder of today will be showery and tomorrow heavy rain in the west is expected to spread to all areas by mid-morning, with a risk of thunder and further localised flooding.

Conditions will remain unsettled for most of the week with temperatures struggling to make the high-teens by Wednesday and Thursday.