Tuesday 6 December 2016

Snow to bring even more misery after flooding deluge - but weekend rain not as heavy as feared

Allison Bray, Ralph Riegel, David Raleigh and Wayne O'Connor

Published 13/12/2015 | 02:30

Padraic Lowrey brings hay to his livestock at the foot of Mount Gable, Cornamona, County Galway after snow hit the area
Padraic Lowrey brings hay to his livestock at the foot of Mount Gable, Cornamona, County Galway after snow hit the area
Peter Madden carries some gas cylinders through the floodwaters in Ballinasloe, Co Galway
Road closures at Annacotty, Limerick due to bad flooding. Picture: Arthur Carron
Rosie the King Charles struggles with the flooding at Annacotty in Limerick. Picture: Arthur Carron
Locals on their way with sandbags to help the flood relief at Annacotty, Limerick. Picture: Arthur Carron
Aoife McNamara from Broadford, Co Clare surveying the flooding at Clonlara Co Clare on Saturday. Photograph by Eamon Ward
PAdraic Lowrey brings hay to his livestock at the foot of Mount Gable, Cornamona, County Galway after snow hit the area. Photo: Ray Ryan
READER SUBMITTED Snow in Bailieboro Co Cavan. Sent in by Martin Sheridan on Twitter with #IndoSubmit
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READER SUBMITTED Kylemore Lake, Connemara. Sent in by Steph Salmon on Twitter using #IndoSubmit.
READER SUBMITTED The Cleaheen road Cootehall Sent in by 'Esquires Carrick' via contact@independent.ie
River Blackwater burst its banks near to Springfield, Clonlara in east Clare. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22
Lesley Costello looks out from her kitchen as people try to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Declan Costello trying to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Trying to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
11/12/15 Members of the Irish Army filling sandbags in Castleconnell to protect against flooding in the area. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Quiet Man Museum in Cong is threatened by the floods. Photo: Ray Ryan
Local residents feed the swans at the flood barriers at Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Fine Gael TD Gabrielle McFadden at the flood defences at Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
PAdraic Lowrey brings hay to his livestock at the foot of Mount Gable, Cornamona, County Galway after snow hit the area. Photo: Ray Ryan
PAdraic Lowrey brings hay to his livestock at the foot of Mount Gable, Cornamona, County Galway after snow hit the area. Photo: Ray Ryan
Trying to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
The Quiet Man Museum in Cong is threatened by the floods. Photo: Ray Ryan
The Quiet Man Museum in Cong is threatened by the floods. Photo: Ray Ryan
12/12/15 Model Nollaig Malone pictured at the flooding at Annacotty in Limerick. Picture: Arthur Carron
PAdraic Lowrey brings hay to his livestock at the foot of Mount Gable, Cornamona, County Galway after snow hit the area. Photo: Ray Ryan
12/12/15 Model Nollaig Malone pictured at the flooding at Annacotty in Limerick. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Quiet Man Museum in Cong is threatened by the floods. Photo: Ray Ryan
Snow covers the mountains in Conemara, County Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan
Snow covers the mountains in Conemara, County Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan
Snow covers the mountains in Conemara, County Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan
12/12/15 Model Nollaig Malone pictured at the flooding at Annacotty in Limerick. Picture: Arthur Carron
Lesley Costello looks out from her kitchen as people try to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Local residents at the flood barriers at Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Civil Defence members build flood barriers at Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Sand bags in place to prevent flood waters from the River Shannon encroach the house of Kevin O'Connor and his children Tristin, Oisin and Amy in the Portavolla estate at Bannaher, Co. Offally. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Local residents Bernard Kelly and Adam Courtney at the flood barriers at Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Harry Waterstone helps to keep the floods from his door at Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Harry Waterstone helps to keep the floods from his door at Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Flooded road near Bannaher, Co. Offally Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Flood waters from the River Shannon encroach on a .farmhouse at Bannaher, Co. Offally Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
A car drives through flood waters from the River Shannon encroach the back garden of Val Bertram Photo: Tony Gavin 12/12/2015
Caroline Micks looks on as people try to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Defence Forces personell fill sandbags to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Caroline Micks looks on as people try to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Men bring sandback to river bank to try to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Laura Micks surveying the flooding the flooding at Clonlara Co Clare on Saturday. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Declan Costello and his wife Lesley trying to hold back the flood waters after the Blackwater burst its banks in Springfield Clonlara on Saturday afternoon. Photograph by Eamon Ward
Christine Reynolds pictured with her son Bailey [15] with their christmas tree and their belongings in Christine's bedroom. The down stairs of Christines home on Hopsons Lane in Ballinasloe was flooded earlier in the week and they had to move everything up stairs.Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath 11/12/15
11/12/15 Members of the Irish Army placing sandbags around a house in Castleconnell to protect it against flooding in the area. Picture: Arthur Carron
Farmer Michael Macken pictured standing with at the entrance to this farm yard which is surrounded by the River Shannon floodwaters at Carrickobrien near Athlone.Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath 11/12/15
Kayaker Mark Scanlon, takes advantage of high floodwater flowing through Limerick City. Pic: Marie McCallan/Press 22
11/12/15 Kevin Madden,Pat O'Brien, Miriam McCormick, Noel Madden and Louis, Emily and James McCormick, concerned residents of Shravokee, Co Clare, which has been affected by the flooding of the Shannon and fear it will get worse when a new road is built through their community. Picture: Arthur Carron
READER SUBMITTED Sent in by Lorraine O'Hara on Twitter with #IndoSubmit
READER SUBMITTED "Beginning to look a lot like Christmas". Sent in by Flanagans Gastropub.
READER SUBMITTED Kinlough, Co Leitrim this morning! Sent in by Louise McGeever
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READER SUBMITTED "Loughinwadda Peterswell Gort home and farm blocked, cattle and stock had to be moved". Sent in Councillor Anne Rabbitte on Twitter using #IndoSubmit
READER SUBMITTED "Almost losing my parking space in #Newcastlewest @OwenONeillFurn Office! Wet and very cold day here". Sent in by Owen O' Neill on Twitter using #IndoSubmit
READER SUBMITTED "These were the flooded scenes of our beautiful park in Milltown on sunday last" Sent in by Claire McGuire via contact@independent.ie
READER SUBMITTED CCTV footage showing the flooding in front of a house on Sunday. Sent in by Kevin Connolly
READER SUBMITTED A tongue-in-cheek photo sent in with the caption "wreaking havoc at the home house". Sent in by Twitter user 'Jad Mix' using #IndoSubmit.
READER SUBMITTED "Caherlea,Claregalway repeat of 2009 flood despite millions wasted by OPW "relief works". Sent in by Leanne Traynor on Twitter using #IndoSubmit.
READER SUBMITTED "Current situation on the river moy, car park and streets flooded" Sent in by Stephney Murray on Twitter using #IndoSubmit
READER SUBMITTED "Current situation on the river moy, car park and streets flooded" Sent in by Stephney Murray on Twitter using #IndoSubmit
READER SUBMITTED "Current situation on the river moy, car park and streets flooded" Sent in by Stephney Murray on Twitter using #IndoSubmit
READER SUBMITTED "Current situation on the river moy, car park and streets flooded" Sent in by Stephney Murray on Twitter using #IndoSubmit
READER SUBMITTED "Sure I might go for a swim in my garden.." Sent in by Claudia on Twitter using #IndoSubmit.
READER SUBMITTED "A new lake for Cavan" Sent in by Vanessa Davis on Twitter using #IndoSubmit.
READER SUBMITTED Flooding in Sligo Sent in by Noel M Kennedy via contact@independent.ie
READER SUBMITTED Flooding in Sligo Sent in by Noel M Kennedy via contact@independent.ie
READER SUBMITTED Flooding in Sligo Sent in by Noel M Kennedy via contact@independent.ie
READER SUBMITTED Flooding after storm Desmond at killarney golf club co Kerry Sent in by Bridget Healy via contact@independent.ie
READER SUBMITTED Caherlea, Claregalway, Galway. Sent in by Liam Kehoe via contact@independent.ie
READER SUBMITTED Caherlea, Claregalway, Galway. Sent in by Liam Kehoe via contact@independent.ie
READER SUBMITTED "My house in the middle on its own. Fought and beat the flood with sandbags and pumps and lots of goodwill Level dropping now". Caherlea, Claregalway, Galway. Sent in by Liam Kehoe via contact@independent.ie
River Blackwater burst its banks near to Springfield, Clonlara in east Clare. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22
River Blackwater burst its banks near to Springfield, Clonlara in east Clare. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22
River Blackwater burst its banks near to Springfield, Clonlara in east Clare. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22
Images captured by the Air Corps. Photos were taken between Banagher, Co Offaly and Parteen Co Clare. Credit: Air Corps
Members of the Irish Army filling sandbags in Castleconnell to protect against flooding in the area. Picture: Arthur Carron
Paddy Kavanagh stands in his front garden as volunteers place sandbags around his house in Golden Island, Athlone
An image from the Copernicus satellite shows the level of devastation around Athlone town
An aerial view of flooding in the Shannon basin between Banagher, Co Offaly and Parteen Co Clare
Michael Crowley cleaning up after his shoe shop was flooded in Bandon, Co Cork

After a week of relentless rain, snow and ice is now expected to blanket many parts of the country today, making driving treacherous while crews and volunteers work desperately to save homes and businesses from further flooding after yesterday’s deluge.

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Dozens of homes have already been flooded after the River Shannon swept into Athlone on top of “widespread road flooding” nationwide.

There were fears of more flooding as swollen rivers overflow their banks due to “a significant rainfall event” yesterday and overnight Friday - but rainfall was not as heavy as feared, giving those already hit by flooding some respite.

However farmers in Clare and Limerick were evacuating their farms as they expected the weather to get worse overnight.

Clare farmer Paidi Ryan, from Springfield, said that he was packing up to leave. “We evacuated most of the cows on Tuesday but held on to the milking cows because I have nowhere else to milk them,” he added. “We are getting the rest of them out now.”

Mr Ryan said that his farm was more than one mile away from the River Shannon but was still overflowing with water.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly yesterday said the floods were the worst that

After the deluge, snow to bring even more miseryhave ever been seen. He added that the Government would “escalate” all efforts to protect as many homes as possible as the country braced itself for more rain in the coming days.

The minister said he would bring a memo to Cabinet next week which would seek to address the infrastructure issues causing devastating flooding in many communities along the River Shannon.

Last night, homes in Clonlara in south-east Clare near the Limerick border were under water for the first time after the Blackwater River breached its banks.

Shortly after 1pm a fierce swell came over the bank, which had been raised by the Office of Public Works to prevent flooding. In seconds, the river swept through the back of several homes, taking residents by surprise.

Local farmers used diggers to make channels and drains in the hope of protecting more homes further downstream.

Caroline Micks, whose home once stood in the way of the river, and is now in the middle of it, said it was “complete mayhem”.

“The bank behind the house here burst and the water was coming into the fields behind us, filling them up,” she added.

Standing in her wellies in several feet of water, she said: “Then it swept through the fields and came back into the house, into the garden and down into the back of the garage. Within a few minutes the gardens were full and it was up to the house.”

Fears were also growing last night that some areas downstream from the Parteen Weir in Co Clare could also be flooded after Tom Browne, of the ESB, announced it was forced to increase its discharge rate from 374 cubic metres per second to 405 cubic metres per second to cope with the sheer deluge of rain flowing into the river.

He warned, “we anticipate we’ll have to increase that further” before the rainfall is expected to peak tomorrow.

Approximately 14 houses at Richmond Park, Corbally, were flooded last night as a result of the Park Canal overtopping its banks.

The flooding in Corbally occurred due to record flooding yesterday on the Mulcair river combined with flooding on the Blackwater river and increased discharge through Parteen Weir.

Council staff, assisted by members of the Defence Forces, Fire Service and Civil Defence, are continuing to implement flood defence measures along the river bank and coordinate with local property owners at Montpelier, Castleconnell and the Mountshannon Road (Lisnagry), and in a number of other locations including the Corbally area.

Sandbags are being distributed on a strategic basis as advised by the Council’s technical staff.

Limerick City and County Council has opened a dedicated emergency helpline for flooding support (+353 61 407100) in addition to the existing Out of Hours / Emergency phone number (+353 61 417833).

Meanwhile, the Council is advising members of the public, particularly children, to avoid all flooded areas and to abide by the instructions provided by the Emergency Services and Council staff.

Flooding advice is available on www.flooding.ie. Information included on the website includes advice on identifying flooding risks, protecting property against flooding, necessary steps to be taken if a property is flooded and accessing and repairing property damaged by flooding.

By midday yesterday, up to 50mm of rain had fallen since Friday in the southwest, with between 30 and 40mm falling in west Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and Connacht, and between 25 and 30mm in the midlands and Dublin region.

Significant amounts of rain will be worsened by plunging temperatures expected to move southward from the north. “We expect a nasty snow and ice situation into Sunday,” said Met Eireann forecaster Gerald Fleming. “We’ve had almost everything we could possibly have in terms of weather.”

After another rain-sodden night on Friday and plunging temperatures that left parts of counties Cavan and Monaghan blanketed in snow yesterday, more snow was expected by this morning as a cold front moved southwards.

“Snow will come down through the midlands, down through the west and there will be ice on the road,” he added.

Although the snow is expected to melt by later today, roads that were covered in ice last night could still pose a menace this morning in sheltered areas, especially if covered with rainwater.

“There won’t be big amounts (of snow). I think it will be a few centimetres at most and it won’t last any length because there is much milder air coming back in across the country, so it will sweep it all out of the way,” Mr Fleming told the Sunday Independent.

“I don’t think anyone will be fighting their way out of snowdrifts. But it’s when it freezes and it causes that problem on roads and footpaths.”

There is also no end in sight as we face into another “very wet week ahead”, he said, adding we can expect between 20 and 40mm of rain.

Garda spokesman Supt John Ferris warned that roads would be hazardous nationwide following last night’s big freeze and urged drivers not only to slow down to cope with ice but also to drive with caution on flood-stricken roads. “The key message for the public is to be aware that the ice is coming and to slow down” he said at a press briefing of the National Co-Ordination Group in Dublin yesterday.

Sunday Independent

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