COMMUTERS spent hours caught up in a traffic snarl on one of the country’s motorways, as harsh weather conditions caused havoc countrywide.
Travellers in parts of Cork, Wicklow and Dublin were among the worst effected by the stormy conditions, while sports competitions were also cancelled. Severe flooding was reported in parts of Cork with homes and businesses in Blackpool village damaged by flash floods.
In the hard-hit Wicklow area, drivers reported delays of up to three hours to negotiate a 10km stretch around Bray due to parts of the M11 motorway being closed due to flooding. The diversions were lifted late this afternoon but the delays were slow to ease, resulting in hugely frustrating tailbacks in Wicklow that had knock-on effects into neighbouring areas including south Dublin.
Delays continued this evening although the motorway is now open in both directions. Drivers on the M50 were also left in no man's lands because of the weather and subsequent flooding of parts of the country's most-expensive motorway system.
Tonight, significant jams remained in a number of areas including Dublin's city centre.
Irish Ferries cancelled all its Jonathan Swift fast craft sailings due to adverse weather but said that passengers would be accommodated on other sailings.
Met Eireann has issued a yellow status warning for rainfall in Munster, Connacht and Leinster. It warned of further heavy rain and prolonged showers which could give rise to spot flooding. Eastern coastal areas are especially at risk due to strong gale force winds.
Motorists around the country faced delays due to flooding and debris on roads caused by strong winds. Drivers have also been advised to avoid the Sally Gap and Wicklow Gap.
Dart services between Howth and Howth junction were suspended for a time this afternoon. Wicklow County Council has issued a flood alert for the Greystones Enniskerry area which will stay in place until Monday.
Meanwhile the Wicklow RNLI rescued four fishermen from a 26m French fishing trawler which got into difficulty in the early hours of this morning.
Flooding was also a problem on the Enniskerry to Kilternan road causing long delays. And in Meath, Gardai are reportig flooding on back roads around Slane.
Met Eireann has issued a snow and ice weather warning for Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan which is set to remain in force until Sunday morning.
Conor Faughnan from AA Ireland said the east coast was hard hit by the flooding. Mr Faughnan said it was the second time that section of the M11 around Bray had flooded and it warranted investigation.
“Today was a really bad day for commuters,” he said.
Even Domino’s Pizza was hit, with the company urging people ordering home deliveries to be patient due to the weather.
“Unfortunately deliveries may be slower than usual,” it told customers.
In Wexford, the quays in Enniscorthy were closed off after the River Slaney burst its banks.
In Donegal gardai are advising extreme care on all routes around Letterkenny, Ballybofey and Glenties following snowfall. Flooding was also reported in Carlow, Kilkenny
Meanwhile close to 40,000 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland remain without electricity this wrong as a result of storm force winds and heavy snow. Snow also caused disruption at George Best Belfast City Airport which was forced to close its main runway until 9am this morning. Passengers are being advised to check with their airlines before travelling.
A landslide was reported between Newry and Dundalk, with the Dublin-Belfast train still running to schedule but busses were delayed.
In Cork homes and businesses are assessing the damage following severe flash flooding.
Floods hit localised areas last night where high tides combined with torrential rain.
Worst hit was Blackpool, Co Cork where drains failed to cope with the deluge with floods subsequently hitting the Watercourse Road and parts of the Commons Road.
A total of 16 homes and businesses were hit by last night’s flooding, the majority of which have no flood insurance.
The floods are the third in four years to hit Blackpool.
Meanwhile, horse racing was called off in Dundalk tonight, and tomorrow’s card in Gowran Park is also off and bosses took the early decision to cancel Sunday racing in Downpatrick, Co Down.
The Dublin County Board took the decision to cancel games scheduled for Dublin this weekend due to the pitch conditions.