Irish News

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Rain set to clear briefly...before storms return at weekend

Published 05/02/2014|10:50

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With storms and floods battering the country overnight, we'll be getting a (very) brief break from precipitation before the weekend.

"It will be a gradually improving situation during the course of today," a Met Eireann forecaster told Independent.ie. "The emphasis is on the word 'gradual'.

"There will be no immediate alleviation of heavy rain affecting parts of the country and there will be a general clearance to showery conditions during the course of tonight. Winds will still be quite strong tonight, but not at a dangerous level. It won't be as threatening as it was last night.

"Tomorrow will be an improved situation."

There will still be showers tomorrow morning, which will eventually clear in the afternoon.

Icy patches are expected to form in the early hours of Friday morning with a further increase in wind.

"Rain will come in Munster and Connacht in the evening time and spread on quickly from there to the rest of the country. Ran will be heavy in quite a few places getting up to gale force levels again."

The forecaster warned of potential for more flooding due to 'water clogging'.

"Tides won't be as high the seas will have gone down some extent," he said.

"Having said that, there's still a lot saturation and water clogging - rivers are quite full. There's danger of some flooding due to that."

Meanwhile, some 300 hundred cities, towns and villages are at "significant" risk of flooding – but work to make them safe will take years, the Irish Independent has learned.

Pedestrians coping with the rain and winds at O'Connell St.
Pedestrians coping with the rain and winds at O'Connell St.
Flooding at Beresford Place this morning.
Flooding at Beresford Place this morning.
Heavy flooding on the Grand Parade, Cork city.
Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Heavy flooding on the Grand Parade, Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The extent of the flood defence work required means that current and future governments will have to make tough choices when deciding where money should be spent.

Rising sea levels and more extreme winter storms, coupled with pressure on Exchequer funding, will leave the authorities with no choice but to accept that some areas cannot be economically protected, climate-change expert Professor John Sweeney from NUI Maynooth warned.

Office of Public Works Minister Brian Hayes admitted as much when he said it would take billions of euro to do all the work required.

A detailed list of vulnerable areas commissioned by the OPW shows that communities ranging from small villages to large urban centres are at risk unless defence works are carried out.

Enda Kenny

Poll: Do you think Taoiseach Enda Kenny should visit communities affected by devastating floods in recent days?

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The report names towns across all 26 counties, ranging from Wexford, Bray in Wicklow, Callan in Kilkenny and Birr in Offaly to Glenties in Donegal, Passage West in Cork, Nenagh in Tipperary and Oughterard in Galway.

Mr Hayes admitted that even if the "billions" of euro needed to complete the flood defence works were available, it would take "years" to complete the projects.

Details emerged following the devastation in recent days in Cork and Limerick and as communities across the country brace themselves for further bad weather.

Watch: Homeowners tells of shock floods: 'I got my wife out and into the boat'

Read: Gardai warn morning commuters of flooding devastation on country's roads

Read: Gale force winds of up to 90kmh and heavy downpours to continue throughout today

Read: Experts warn of potential tsunami risks for Ireland

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