Monday 25 September 2017

Storm Desmond: Clean-up begins as pictures show extent of flooding around the country

Sunday afternoon in Castlefinn, inset, Mowlam Nursing Home in Sligo which had to be partially evacuated last nigh
Sunday afternoon in Castlefinn, inset, Mowlam Nursing Home in Sligo which had to be partially evacuated last nigh
An Aldi is closed due to flooding in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
Members of the fire service bail out water from shops in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
Fire tenders pump water from the car park of shops in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
Members of the fire service and the army bail out water from shops in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
Members of the fire service and the army bail out water from shops in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
Members of the army bail out water from shops in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
Members of the fire service bail out water from shops in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
Members of the fire service and bail out water from shops in the Ballybofey area of Donegal
People make their way though floods in the Castlefin area of Donegal
People make their way though floods in the Castlefin area of Donegal
People make their way though floods in the Castlefin area of Donegal
Sunday afternoon in Castlefinn
This lorry driver goes cautiously through the flooding near Ballybofey in Co. Donegal. (North West Newspix)
Members of the public brave the bad weather on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
4/12/15 Dubliners brave the weather for a night out at O'Connell bridge in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

Ralph Riegel, Ed Carty, Greg Harkin and Independent.ie Newsdesk

These shocking pictures reveal the extent of the destruction caused by Storm Desmond over the last 36 hours.

Taken this afternoon in Castlefinn, Donegal, a man paddles down the street in a canoe as flood waters have taken over the main street of the town.

Another picture shows Mowlam Nursing Home in Sligo which had to be partially evacuated last night.

There are widespread reports of flooding around the country as a result of the storm.

In Donegal, flood waters cut off towns and villages along the Finn Valley in Co Donegal.

The main bridge linking Donegal and Tyrone has been closed after flood waters poured into Lifford and Strabane.

A number of properties including a pub have been destroyed in Lifford, with council offices also hit.

Castlefinn has been cut off, with several feet of flood water in the main square.

A picture of Moll's Gap in Kerry this morning. The Killarney Rally has been postponed because of the weather conditions. Pic Credit: Steven Joyce/Irish Rallying Facebook page
A picture of Moll's Gap in Kerry this morning. The Killarney Rally has been postponed because of the weather conditions. Pic Credit: Steven Joyce/Irish Rallying Facebook page
Members of the public brave the bad weather on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the public brave the bad weather on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fire, council and Defence Forces teams are continuing to help in the clear-up.

Civil Defence volunteers have been helping farmers reach livestock stranded by the flood waters.

Homes in Kilmacrennan have also been flooded and gardai say a dozen roads around the county remain impassable.

There are travel warnings all over the country this morning due to the weather.

Met Eireann has withdrawn its severe weather warnings from this morning but there are widespread reports of flooding from around the country this morning as the clean-up from Storm Desmond begins.

Over the last 36 hours,Storm Desmond dumped huge volumes of water and caused devastating flooding.

There are reports of roads flooded in parts of Donegal, Sligo, Galway, Mayo, Cavan,  Monaghan, Cork, Kerry and Clare.

Local authorities are remaining on high alert as water levels are expected to remain very high over the coming days.

Mowlam Nursing Home in Sligo was partially evacuated last night as a result of flooding.  There have been some delays to incoming flights at Dublin airport, however early morning flight departures have not been affected today.

Ferry services on the Irish Seas have resumed.

ESB Networks say there are currently around 1,000 homes without power overnight, with the worst affected in Kerry and Crossmolina in Co Mayo.

Meanwhile, a massive clean-up operation is underway in west Cork, with Bandon bearing the brunt of the damage from Storm Desmond in the south west.

 

The town remains partially cut-off with the major access roads still flooded while, at the peak of the flood between 10pm on Saturday and 3am today, streets in the town were under almost 14 inches of water.

 

Rivers throughout Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Clare remain swollen to dangerous levels after almost 100m of rainfall in just 48 hours.

 

Diversions are in place around Bandon but it is expected to be mid-afternoon before flood waters start to fully recede.

 

Gardai, Defence Forces, Civil Defence, Bandon Fire Brigade and Cork Co Council staff were joined by local volunteers on Saturday evening in a desperate attempt to stem the flood waters and protect premises in the west Cork town.

 

However, both the Bandon and Bridewell Rivers broke their banks in places.

 

South Main Street, Bridge Lane, Bandon Bridge and the N71 roundabout were all flooded.

 

Locals expressed fury today that, six years after the devastating floods of 2009, work has still not commenced on Bandon's long-awaited flood defence project.

 

"It is six years now since the last major flood in Bandon and the lack of investment in west Cork, not just in Bandon but in Skibbereen, Bantry and Clonakilty, is a frightening indictment of the national response," Councillor Alan Coleman warned.

"This is a gravely serious situation in west Cork and there is no way that traders in Bandon, just weeks before Christmas, should be left facing this kind of avoidable damage."

Traders began a clean-up operation from 5am today with many hoping to be operational by this evening.

However, the damage bill is expected to run into tens of thousands of Euro given the flood damage to fixtures and electrical fittings.Meanwhile, a massive clean-up operation is underway in west Cork, with Bandon bearing the brunt of the damage from Storm Desmond in the south west.

The town remains partially cut-off with the major access roads still flooded while, at the peak of the flood between 10pm on Saturday and 3am today, streets in the town were under almost 14 inches of water.

Rivers throughout Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Clare remain swollen to dangerous levels after almost 100m of rainfall in just 48 hours.

Diversions are in place around Bandon but it is expected to be mid-afternoon before flood waters start to fully recede.

Gardai, Defence Forces, Civil Defence, Bandon Fire Brigade and Cork Co Council staff were joined by local volunteers on Saturday evening in a desperate attempt to stem the flood waters and protect premises in the west Cork town.

However, both the Bandon and Bridewell Rivers broke their banks in places.

South Main Street, Bridge Lane, Bandon Bridge and the N71 roundabout were all flooded.

Locals expressed fury today that, six years after the devastating floods of 2009, work has still not commenced on Bandon's long-awaited flood defence project.

"It is six years now since the last major flood in Bandon and the lack of investment in west Cork, not just in Bandon but in Skibbereen, Bantry and Clonakilty, is a frightening indictment of the national response," Councillor Alan Coleman warned.

"This is a gravely serious situation in west Cork and there is no way that traders in Bandon, just weeks before Christmas, should be left facing this kind of avoidable damage."

Traders began a clean-up operation from 5am today with many hoping to be operational by this evening.

However, the damage bill is expected to run into tens of thousands of Euro given the flood damage to fixtures and electrical fittings.

any parts of Bandon town centre remain without power.

A number of roads are impassable this morning.

In Mayo, The  Westport/ Ballinrobe Rd (R330) is impassable at Digger Jays Pub due to flooding. The Belmullet/ Castlebar Rd (R312) is impassable at Glenisland due to flooding. Diversions are in place. There are also reports of flooding on the N60 Claremorris/ Castlebar Rd. The road is passable with diversions in place.

In Cavan, the N87 Swanlinbar/ Belturbet Rd is now passable between Belturbet and Bawnboy with care.

In Donegal, the local Illistrin/ Ramelton Rd is impassable at Ballyare due to flooding. The Lifford Bridge and Clady Bridge is closed due to high water levels.

In Monaghan, the N2 closed at Moybridge outside Aughnacloy & in Monaghan Town at St Macartan's College following flooding.

The rail line between Longford and Dromod is closed due to flooding this morning.

Met Eireann's highest level red warning ended at 3am as the gale force winds and incessant and heavy rainfall abated more than a day after the Atlantic system began to move in.

Among the worst hit areas was Bandon in Co Cork where the river measured 3.5m, well above the severe warning mark on a gauge at a bridge in the town.

The town centre, which has been waiting for new defences since the last flood in 2009, was under at least one foot of water.

Towns, cities and counties along the west coast bore the brunt of Desmond - the fourth named storm of the winter season - with flooding also reported in parts of Donegal, Crossmolina, Co Mayo, Kenmare, Co Kerry, among other areas.

Travel services were also hit at the height of the storm with a number of flights and ferry sailings cancelled or postponed but services are expected to run as normal today.

Elsewhere, several hundred homes in parts of Mayo and Kerry spent last night with no power.

In some of the hardest hit regions in Cork and Kerry councils called in the Army to help put in makeshift flood defences.

A 20 strong platoon and two big wheeled vehicles were deployed to Bandon while others were dispatched to Kenmare, Tralee and Bantry and worked with local Health Service Executive medical teams to get to emergencies in the floods..

While a separate weather system is expected to move in overnight into Monday, Met Eireann has forecast a a bright and mostly dry day, with sunny spells and just a few isolated showers today.

Forecasters had warned that Desmond was carrying huge levels of rainfall.

Almost 20 travel warnings were in place across parts of Mayo and Galway with many roads impassable including the N59 between Leenane and Westport.

In Donegal, which also had a number of alerts out for motorists, the bridge after the rivers Finn and Foyle meet in Lifford was closed due to high water levels, while a few miles away in Clady, Co Tyrone the town bridge over the Finn was also closed to traffic.

Irish Rail was forced to close its Dublin-Sligo line from Longford to Dromod because of flooding.

In Monaghan, drivers were urged to take extreme care on the N2 while motorway bosses closed one lane of the M6 eastbound at Loughrea for several hours on Sunday morning.

Army personnel were sent to Cork and Kerry last night following requests for help from the local authorities.

Personnel and vehicles were sent to areas in Cork and Kerry during Storm Desmond.

Over the past 36 hours Storm Desmond dumped over 100mms of rain along the south, west and north-west coasts of the country.

Even though the rain will ease for today, water levels re expected to remain very high. Windy weather systems will push up from the south again tonight.

Fallen trees are also proving to be a problem across the country.

Local authorities and the emergency services are now warning people not to travel unless it's absolutely necessary.

Met Eireann say that rain will continue to move eastwards this morning, giving way to a bright and mostly dry day, with sunny spells and just a few isolated showers, these mainly in the north and northwest.

Winds will become mostly light, westerly or variable and it will turn quite cold, with maximum afternoon temperatures of 6 to 9 Celsius.

Later today, breezy, wet weather will develop in the southwest and south, with freshening east to southeast winds, extending northwards across the country this evening and early tonight.

The rain will continue for most of next week - but there will be more dry intervals on Friday.

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