Wednesday 23 August 2017

More than 40,000 people left without water on hottest day of the year after major pipe burst

Sunshine sweeps the country - but 40,000 are left struggling in Cork as mains pipe bursts

Aisling Ferry, Cara Towell and Elanor Flannery, Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Portmarnock Beach. Photo: Collins Dublin
Aisling Ferry, Cara Towell and Elanor Flannery, Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Portmarnock Beach. Photo: Collins Dublin
Baby elephant Vani cooling down at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Justin Farrelly

Gavin White and Cathal McMahon

More than 40,000 people were left without water on the hottest day of the year after a major water pipe burst.

As the mercury rose above 25C in many parts of the country, Cork city was left sweltering with no mains supply.

Many pubs and cafés had to close while some businesses were forced to reduce their service and turn customers away.

Yesterday marked the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and it also turned out to be the hottest.

Lee William Dawson, Finglas, and Leticia Ribiro, Brazil, in St Stephen’s Green. Photo: Arthur Carron
Lee William Dawson, Finglas, and Leticia Ribiro, Brazil, in St Stephen’s Green. Photo: Arthur Carron

Dublin temperatures soared higher than 28C in the peak of the sunny spell this week.

Highest readings for the city were recorded at the Phoenix Park, home to Dublin Zoo. Elephants were treated to a welcome cooling down from zoo keepers as they basked in the sunshine.

Highest temperatures were 25C in Cork, while Meath and Cavan also hit 25C.

This week was the first time Met Éireann had to issue a yellow heat warning.

Aisling Ferry, Cara Towell and Elanor Flannery, Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Portmarnock Beach. Photo: Collins Dublin
Aisling Ferry, Cara Towell and Elanor Flannery, Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Portmarnock Beach. Photo: Collins Dublin

"We needed to flag the fact that this would happen," a spokesperson said.

"Not everyone is happy with the hot weather. Some elderly people can struggle due to medication. In Europe we've seen heatwaves cause serious problems."

A young teenager was airlifted to hospital after getting into difficulty while swimming in a river in Co Wexford last night.

The 13-year-old girl was with at least two others when she got into difficulty while swimming in the area.

Lifeboats from Curracloe, Dunmore East and Tramore were joined at the scene by the Coast Guard's Rescue 117 helicopter. The rescue effort was co-ordinated by the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Dublin.

Separately, locals and businesses in Cork hit problems after a water pipe burst at Lee Road Waterworks. Gallagher's Gastro Pub in Bridge Street was forced to cancel a bus full of tourists who had booked, after making the "executive decision" to close the kitchen.

One of the pub's employees, Emma Gallagher, said: "It's the hottest day of the year obviously and this has really disrupted us.

"We're a gastropub so we have a full kitchen and we just can't operate a kitchen with no water.

"The water got cut off about 11.30am and with a city full of tourists on a day like today it's far from ideal."

Another pub affected was the White Rabbit Bar and BBQ on MacCurtain Street in Cork city centre which had discoloured water coming out of its taps.

The bar had water back just before 4pm but the whole area had been affected causing widespread disruption.

One café also affected was the Coffee Roasters on Bridge Street which faced an anxious rush before lunchtime as its water supply was cut off.

The café was forced to source an alternative back-up supply of water which it got just in time for rush hour.

Cork City Council said the burst mains had been repaired late yesterday afternoon.

"Some discolouration to the water supply may occur when the water supply is restored," it said.

Meanwhile, Sean Venn, forecaster with Met Éireann, said yesterday "was the last of the really nice weather".

Temperatures will be "falling back to normal values" between 16C and 22C across the country.

Irish Independent

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