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Friday 29 August 2014

Motorists warned of severe frost as floods bring chaos

Breda Heffernan

Published 27/11/2012 | 05:00

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A collapsed wall at Summerhill Road, Wexford.
Gemma Coughlin in her house in King Street, Wexford.

MOTORISTS have been urged to take care as a cold snap will bring severe frosts and freezing fog over the coming days.

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Night-time temperatures will dip as low as -4C while, by day, strong northerly winds will make it feel bitingly cold.

It comes as torrential rain caused chaos for rush-hour commuters with up to 50mm of rain falling in some areas.

But while the week ahead will be largely dry with only a few showers, it will turn cold and this will last into the weekend.

Northerly Arctic winds will see daytime temperatures of between 5 and 8C and by night these will fall to minus 3 or minus 4 degrees.

Met Eireann has warned of severe frosts with patches of freezing fog and the chance of some sleet on higher ground on Friday.

The eastern and south-eastern counties bore the brunt of the intense rain which led to flooding early yesterday, with the worst of the flooding in counties Dublin, Waterford, Wexford and Cork.

Wexford

The weather station at Johnstown Castle in Co Wexford recorded the highest rainfall level with a total of 50mm of rain falling from Saturday evening through to Monday morning.

Several homes on King Street in Wexford town were inundated with flood waters while a section of wall collapsed on the busy Summerhill Road.

Dublin

Up to 30mm of rain fell in the greater Dublin area in less than 24 hours, leading to widespread flooding, particularly on the city's northside, and caused problems on the M1 near the Donabate exit. Also in north Dublin, the Ballyboughal to Oldtown road, near Blake's Cross, and the Old Portmarnock Road were impassable, and there was also flooding near the Airside Retail Park and on the Lusk to Rush road.

The heavy overnight rain also caused misery for morning commuters with rail and DART services suspended between Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey because of flooding on the track at Sandymount, while Gorey commuter and Rosslare Intercity services were operated with bus transfers.

Waterford

Several major roads including the N25 Waterford to New Ross road were impassable. There was also flooding on the Waterford to Dunmore East road.

Wicklow

Commuters encountered difficult driving conditions on the N11 – particularly north of The Beehive and at the Ballinameesda bends.

Cork

Local roads between Fermoy and Ballyhooley and between Mitchelstown and Araglin were affected by flood waters.

Met Eireann forecaster Joan Blackwell said November has been a very wet month and the water table was already high before the recent deluge.

The AA used the second anniversary of the start of the "Big Freeze" to remind drivers to take care and look after their cars.

Adaptation

"While we're unlikely to see such extreme weather, we'll still have plenty of wet, dark evenings, icy roads and fog ahead so it really is common sense to be extra cautious and make sure your vehicle is performing as it should," said spokesman Conor Faughnan.

Meanwhile, researchers at NUI Maynooth have said adaptation to climate change will not be a smooth, planned process but will instead follow a series of crises.

Dr Conor Murphy and Professor John Sweeney compared attitudes of 356 people living in Cumbria in north-west England and in Galway, both of which were hit by heavy flooding in 2009. Residents who felt helpless in the face of flooding were less likely to take action to prevent flooding in the future.

"Residents in Galway were significantly more likely to believe that their property would be flooded again. Yet it was the Cumbrians who believed they had more personal responsibility to adapt," said Prof Sweeney.

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