independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Gale and flood warnings issued as 2014 is set to start with stormy weather

Roads blocked by flooding as bad weather continues

Sandbags are placed along the the seafront at Clontarf yesterday afternoon ahead of the high tide.
Pic Steve Humphreys
31st December 2013.
Sandbags are placed along the the seafront at Clontarf yesterday afternoon ahead of the high tide.

Flood and gale warnings have been issued nationwide as the country ushered in the New Year amid wet and windy weather.

A risk of flooding is set to be a feature of our weather for the first week of 2014 as a national weather warning remains in effect.

Motorists are also being warned of black ice on the roads as rain and sleet are falling on already frozen surfaces.

There is a flood warning in place in Dublin with people being warned to stay safe if outdoors and close to coastal areas, AA Roadwatch reports. 

In Wicklow, there are reports of flooding on the Rathnew/Rathdrum Road and on Old Connaught Avenue in Bray.

In Cork, excess surface water is reported on the N25 Cork/Waterford Road between Carrigtwohill and Midleton. There is also flooding on the Carrigaline/Crosshaven Road but Gardai say it is passable if care is taken.

There is also flooding in Dundalk with St Helena’s Road being closed.

AA Roadwatch are also reporting ice in Leitrim on the N4 Dublin/Sligo Road, in Roscommon particularly on the Lanesborough Road and in Westmeath between Mullingar and Athlone.

Black ice has been reported on most routes around Letterkenny, Donegal.

A landslide on the line at Waterford train station means there is no services between Waterford and Thomastown or Waterford and Carrick-on-Suir, Iarnrod Eireann reports.

There is a bus transfer available between Waterford and Kilkenny.

Meanwhile, nationwide, rain and strong winds will reach all parts of the country by midday today, with a risk of flooding on the south and east coasts due to high tides.

Forecaster Harm Luijkx said there was "no end in sight" for the miserable conditions which have hit the country in recent weeks.

Temperatures during the daytime would be between 6C and 10C, but it would feel colder because of the strong winds.

"An active weather system is pushing up from the south-west, bringing very wet and windy weather," he said.

"That rain and strong winds will push up, reaching all parts by midday, and there could be local flooding.

"There is also a risk on the south and east coasts of some coastal flooding due to high tides and strong winds.

"The whole trend of the last few weeks with unsettled weather is going to continue and is not going to change.

"Thursday won't start too bad but another depression is moving in, bringing very wet and windy weather into Friday morning.

"There's a bit of a break with showers for most of the weekend, but it looks like more wet and windy weather up until Sunday.

"For after that, there's no end in sight for the unsettled weather. The temperatures aren't that significant, around normal with daytime temperatures of 6C to 10C, but on Saturday it will be colder with low single figures."

Local authorities on the south and east coasts are bracing themselves for the worst as high tides are due over the coming days.

As a precaution, Dublin City Council closed the flood gates on the Dodder and the Tolka Rivers and also shut the Liffey Boardwalk for the coming days.

Flood defences, including sand bags, were installed at strategic locations in Clontarf around the Alfie Byrne Road and at Sandymount until Friday, with public car parks closed in both areas.

Cork City Council has also published a list of at-risk areas in the city, including the city's main shopping streets, and both councils urged owners at risk of tidal flooding to protect their properties, adding that advice was available at www.flooding.ie.

Met Eireann said that given the "highly changeable" and often wet conditions that are likely to prevail across Ireland for the coming week, river flooding was also possible in many areas. The risk was exacerbated because heavy rains in recent weeks had resulted in land being saturated or waterlogged.

It has issued a yellow weather warning, urging homeowners and businesses to be aware of the risks that are posed by high levels of rainfall and strong winds.

The wet and windy weather comes after a record-breaking year of weather across the country during 2013, with the country enjoying its best summer sunshine in almost two decades.

However, it was the coldest March at some weather stations since records began, with Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan recording an astonishing 27 days with ground frost that month.

Ardfert in Co Kerry, reached the highest temperature of the year at 30.3C, with nine stations reporting heatwave conditions -- five days or more with temperatures over 25C -- between July 7 to 13.

Irish Independent

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