Wednesday 16 April 2014

Landslide, electrical storm strike as nation braces itself for more

The river Blackwater which burst it's banks during recent flooding in Mallow town, co. Cork.
Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
The river Blackwater which burst it's banks during recent flooding in Mallow town, Co. Cork. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

THE freak winter weather became even more extreme when a lightning storm struck Cork and rain-triggered landslides cut the main Kilkenny-Waterford rail line.

And as the country prepares for another 100mm of rain in the next week, businesses and residents in flood-prone Cork city have been warned to take precautions against rising water levels, while Clonmel, Co Tipperary is also on flood alert.

Dozens of Irish towns and villages have been placed on flood alert as rivers have been swollen with by two weeks of torrential rainfall.

Last night, an electrical storm in Co Cork resulted in power outages in the Macroom and Beal na mBlath areas, with several householders reporting that computers and internet routers were blown by electrical surges from the storm.

A landslide at Legan, outside Thomastown in Kilkenny, forced the temporary closure of the Kilkenny-Waterford rail line from 7am until lunchtime with bus transfers put in place.

A second landslide, also caused by heavy rainfall near Waterford Station at 6.30pm, also halted services on the line. A spokesperson for Iarnrod Eireann said bus transfers here would likely continue this morning until an inspection of the line had been carried out.

The main flood concern is now focused on Cork city, where high tides will leave the River Lee at risk of breaking its banks from 5pm today.

The risk of flooding will remain high until high tide on January 5.

Cork City Council staff have been checking that all drains and culverts are clear and sand-bags have been prepared and stacked in vulnerable areas.

The problem areas include the South Terrace, Union Quay, Morrisson's Quay, Sharman-Crawford Street, Lavitts Quay, Kyrls Quay, the Coal Quay and Lapps Quay.

The River Blackwater broke its banks in both Fermoy and Mallow but flood relief barriers held despite the Fermoy defences being only half-finished.

The only areas of Fermoy impacted were those where the €32m Office of Public Works (OPW) flood relief scheme is incomplete. Floods forced the closure of the Mill Road in Fermoy and the Park Road in Mallow. Cork Racecourse outside Mallow was also flooded and will now undergo an inspection to see if it can host a meeting scheduled for January 4.


Irish Independent

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