Homeowners along Shannon warned of new flooding threat
Homeowners in several areas along the Shannon in Clare and Limerick are being warned of a renewed flood threat.
The ESB took the decision to release an increased amount of water over the Parteen Weir below Lough Derg as water levels on the catchment further upstream continue to rise.
The high amount of rainfall over the Christmas period caused a slow rise in levels in the lower stretches of the Shannon.
The ESB urged home and business owners downstream in areas such as Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon and Annacotty and the University of Limerick to be aware of flood risks.
Most of the areas along the Clare-Limerick border below the hydro power station were only beginning to see some respite in the slow flood when sustained rain kicked in again.
The ESB said it has increased flow over the weir to 405 cumecs - cubic metres per second.
"The situation will be reviewed again tomorrow," it said.
And it warned that other areas between Parteen Weir and Limerick may also be vulnerable to flooding due to local issues.
While weather forecasts are for dull and drizzly conditions in many parts of the country and mild temperatures, Met Eireann is forecasting heavy rain for tomorrow and Tuesday with further wet conditions nationwide on Wednesday.
Racing at Limerick was given the go ahead after an early morning inspection.
Limerick City and County Council said levels along the lower Shannon have risen by about 100mm in the past 48 hours.
Officials said this was 275mm lower than the peak on Sunday December 13.
Between 30 and 60mm of rain is being forecast from tomorrow to Wednesday and with higher levels on mountainous areas further flooding is said to be inevitable.
Vincent Murray, senior engineer with the council, said standard operating and response procedures are in place in the event of localised flooding.
"Council staff are continuing pumping operations at Castleconnell and Montpelier," he said.
"The council remains on alert to ensure that the necessary responses can be immediately activated in the event of flooding during the coming days as approximately two inches of rainfall is forecast between Monday and Wednesday."
"In the meantime, we are advising members of the public to exercise caution in the vicinity of waterways during the Christmas period due to forecasts of heavy rain and higher than average tides."