independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Clean-up begins after storm chaos

High tides and heavy wind and rain have flooded towns and coastal routes

A major clean-up operation is under way after high tides and heavy wind and rain flooded towns and coastal routes.

Parts of Cork, Galway, Salthill, Waterford, Tralee, Clare and Mayo were badly affected by rising waters, while the River Shannon burst its banks in Limerick.

In Dublin the River Liffey also burst its banks, closing the East Link Toll Bridge and some of the quays.

A wind warning remains in place with gusts of 90kph to 120kph due in parts of the country.

Met Eireann said there will be further heavy showers, some of which will be thundery, with temperatures expected to fall as low as minus 2C overnight.

The next storm is forecast on Sunday morning, with strong winds continuing into Monday.

Motorists are being warned to drive with extreme care and avoid some coastal routes, while members of the public have been urged not to put themselves in danger.

ESB Networks said crews are working to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses along the west coast, while 12,000 eircom customers are without a phone line.

Several ferry services have also been cancelled as gale to storm force winds continue on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea, with storm force 11 winds for a time on coasts from Slyne Head to Malin Head.

Galway city and Salthill were among the worst-hit parts of the country, with council chiefs warning there is a risk of more flooding during evening high tides.

The city council said some roads are still flooded and crews are trying to clear large amounts of debris, including stones and seaweed, from the area.

"The city council is in touch with residents, business and others in affected areas offering support including distributing sandbags, clearing blocked drains and gulleys," it said.

"While the streets and roads around the Fr Griffin Road, Spanish Arch, Flood Street and Docks area reopened to traffic earlier, there is still a risk of potential further flooding in the area around high tide this evening.

"High tide on Friday evening is at 6.30pm and again tomorrow at 6.48am (5.66m) and 7.18pm (5.29m) and Sunday morning at 7.36am (5.49m)."

The Leisureland complex will remain closed to the public until at least Monday because of the flooding, and a wedding fair has been postponed.

In Kerry, a woman was rescued from her car when it became submerged in water.

The woman, from Co Limerick, was treated for shock and hypothermia and taken to Kerry General Hospital for treatment.

The alarm was raised at 7.15pm yesterday and the car was located in the sea at Clounamon, two miles west of Ballylongford.

Cork City Council said tidal surge and strong south to south easterly winds are predicted over the next number of days.

"These factors combined will increase the tide levels over the natural tide levels," it said.

"During this period, prior to and after tides, there is a danger of tidal flooding in the city."

Elsewhere ESB Networks said crews have been out since first light assessing damage to power lines, particularly in the mid west and north west of the country.

"The electricity network resiliently withstood the wind and rain it was subjected to by the storm of last night," said a spokesman.

"This morning any damage caused will be assessed and repaired under normal ESB Networks business operations."

Meanwhile, eircom said fault levels remain high in many parts of the country due to the continued adverse weather conditions.

"There are currently 12,000 customers without service," it said,

"This number is expected to rise as the volume of reported faults continues to increase due to the unprecedented level of sustained severe weather during the past three weeks.

"Specifically, damage has been caused by hurricane force high winds, lightning storm and flooding."

Press Association

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