Wednesday 22 October 2014

Clean-up begins for devastated flood-damaged communities across Ireland

  • The highest tide on record impacted Dublin city today. The River Liffey burst its banks earlier this afternoon near Guinness Storehouse and Heuston Station, choking up traffic on the quays
  • Flooded seawater encroached on businesses in Clontarf, Dublin at high tide, breaking past the sea wall
  • Millions of euro worth of damage caused in Lahinch in Co Clare by the rushing ocean
  • Salthill in Galway was hit badly by rising waters, along with parts of Mayo suffering extensive damage. Galway docks and the area around the Spanish Arch were also flooded. Motorists and walkers are still to avoid the Promenade in Salthill
  • Flooding at the East Link toll bridge in Dublin caused it to be closed this afternoon
  • Parts of Cork city were badly hit last night by rising waters from the River Lee - a number of homes had to be evacuated.
  • Businesses and homes in the main street in Foynes in Co. Limerick were damaged because of flooding from the Shannon Estuary.

Published 03/01/2014 | 02:30

Damage as a result of flooding in counties across Ireland
Clontarf car park at High Tide today.
Pic Steve Humphreys
3rd January 2014.
Sea water passes through a wall of sandbags in Clontarf today. Picture: Steve Humphreys
A man runs from waves crashing onto the East pier in Howth, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 1, 2014. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A man runs from waves crashing onto the East pier in Howth, Dublin.

A national clean-up has begun for devastated flood-damaged communities across Ireland.

Millions of euro worth of damage was done as high tides and gale force winds battered communities in Dublin, Galway, Clare, Mayo, Cork, Donegal and Kerry.

County councils around the country were on high alert today as staff worked to make floodwaters retreat and prevent damage to businesses and homes.

Clare County Council will spend €50,000 on a preliminary clean-up in Lahinch after the small tourist village was battered by the storm.

Seawalls and footpaths were broken by the sheer force of rushing seawater. It is estimated that millions of euro worth of damage has been caused in total.

A major clean-up operation is underway in the western areas after high tides caused extensive flooding this morning.

Homes and businesses in Dublin city escaped damage, when the River Liffery rose to the highest tide of record.

The river burst its banks near Guinness Storehouse and Heuston Station this afternoon. Wolfe Tone and Victoria quays were closed for an hour but they were reopened as council staff pumped the floodwater off the roads.

The East Link Bridge was closed for a number of hours this afternoon, but it is now back open. The Strand Road in Sandymount also reopened following high tide.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said all roads and quays were reopened by 2.15pm today.

The worst-hit areas in the city at high tide were Sandymount and Victoria Quay, a council spokesperson said. Traffic has now cleared in the city and should be moving like most Friday afternoons.

Dublin City Council will issue the next precautionary alert on Sunday, but it said the tide will not be as high as today.

In South Dublin, Vico Road in Dalkey is closed because power lines are down.

Donaghmede was also at a standstill as high tide seawater flooded coastal roads.

The coast road and station roads in Malahide were also closed this evening.

AA Roadwatch said traffic began to clear around the county earlier this evening, after spates of heavy standstills this morning.

Up to 600 homes are still without power this evening, but ESB said they will have power restored by tonight.

The worst affected area was west Wicklow where a number of homes and businesses are without power following a lightning storm.

Meanwhile, businesses along the seafront in Clontarf, one of the worst-hit areas by the storm in the capital, breathed a collective sigh of relief today as rising flood waters stopped just metres from shop fronts.

There had been fears the high tide at 12.30pm would cause serious flooding to the shops and homes on the Clontarf Rd where the promenade walkway had flooded yesterday for the first time since 2004.

In preparation, a ring of sandbags had been installed by Dublin City Council around the worst hit part of the promenade and sabdbags had also been made available to homes and businesses.

By high tide a huge stretch of the promenade had been entirely flooded with the incoming tide filling gullies resulting in partial flooding of the road.

But the flood waters soon receded leaving premises unscathed.

Salthill in Galway was hit badly by rising waters, along with parts of Mayo suffering extensive damage.

Shops and restaurants facing the Spanish Arch in Galway city tried to prepare with sandbags and flood defences but this could not hold the surge of water back.

The promenade in Salthill was closed today as council crews worked to remove some of the debris washed ashore. Rocks, stones and seaweed were strewn along the popular walking spot in the storm.

Some businesses along the promenade experienced damage. Leisureland will remain closed for a number of days, following damage to the gym and pool.

Parts of Cork city were hit by floods from the River Lee. A number of homes were evacuated.

Today, floods hit low-lying areas of the city including Morrissons Quay, Fr Mathew Quay, Sharman-Crawford Street and Union Quay but did not reach the levels which caused chaos last night.

Floods also caused misery in county towns including Midleton, Youghal, Clonakilty, Cobh, Kinsale, Carrigaline, Bandon, Fermoy and Mallow.

Cork City Council has issued a flood alert for tomorrow and Sunday at high tides.

A family was evacuated from a house in Westport Co. Mayo after extensive flooding in the area.

Part of a bridge in Rosmoney was washed away and gardai diverted traffic from the area.

Businesses and a number of homes in the main street in Foynes in Co. Limerick were also damaged because of tidal flooding from the Shannon Estuary.

Council staff pumped water from affected areas in Limerick and they deployed sandbags in advance of further bad weather tonight.

A clean-up operation is underway but there are fears of further damage with more high tides forecast for later this evening.

Galway City Council issued a warning regarding potential flooding during high tides between now and the end of the week.

These high tides will hit tomorrow at 6.48am and 7.18pm, and Sunday at 7.36am.

Belfast avoided the serious flooding that many feared was certain to hit today, after a tidal surge came and went without breaching defences.

A major multi-agency operation had been under way since yesterday to prepare residental and industrial districts on both sides of the River Lagan that were identified as being at major risk.

But defences held firm and there were no reports of any serious flooding more than two hours after the midday high tide.

Irish Independent

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