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Monday 21 April 2014

Stormy season: how the weather has battered us for six weeks

Ireland has suffered from six weeks of almost relentless rain and strong winds, punctuated by major storms

St Stephen's Day: The storm that ruined Christmas – and lasted 18 dramatic hours. Thousands left without power as gales strike countrywide.

A motorist escapes death by inches when his car is struck by a falling tree near Clonakilty. More than 70 coastal sites with major storm damage.

Dec 27: Kerry, Cork and Clare bear the brunt as the storm intensifies. A child's trampoline is picked up by the wind and lands on rail power lines at Blackrock in Dublin. Met Eireann issues a Code Red alert. It's the most prolonged storm for five years.

Jan 3: Another storm strikes. It's now officially the worst series of winter storms in 15 years.

High tides whipped inshore by storm-force gales cause extensive flooding in Galway and Cork. The Leisureland complex in Salthill is flooded. The Liffey breaks its banks near the Guinness plant on the quays.

Jan 4: Many roads are still impassable in Mayo and the West and in Kerry. It emerges that a woman had a miracle escape when her car became submerged in floods near Ballylongford. She is treated for hypothermia.

Jan 6: Superstorm Christine strikes. Winds of 120kph lash the country. The lighthouse on Inishbofin is all but swept away.

A large sinkhole appears in Tramore. In Quilty, Co Clare, sections of the promenade wall lie smashed.

Liscannor and Carrigaholt bear the brunt of sustained, near hurricane force winds and rain.

Jan 7: John Terry's holiday home at Gorey, Wexford, left in ruins by Superstorm Christine, continues to fall bit by bit into the sea.

Total damage so far across the country estimated at €300m. Lahinch is like a battleground, with sections of the promenade smashed.

Jan 7-31: It doesn't stop. Heavy rains and strong winds continue to cause havoc. January is the wettest and windiest in decades. All 26 Met Eireann stations report above average rainfall. Valentia Island off Kerry breaks all records with 289mm of rain in the month. Newport, Co Mayo, is second worst with 286mm.

Feb 1-2: High winds – up to 92kph in Dublin coincide with high tides. The sea breaches flood defences in Clontarf.

Feb 5: Waterford gets walloped. The River Lee bursts its banks. Coastal communities from Cork, Waterford to Wexford left stunned by the ferocity of a storm that hits just after nightfall after a day of sunshine.

Feb 6: Cork is yet again flooded but putting in effective flood defence systems in the Lower Lee valley could cost up to €100m. Labour TD Kevin Humphreys reveals at least 10,000 householders can't get insurance for floods.

February 7: National Emergency Co-ordination Committee warns that all major rivers – the Shannon, Nore, Slaney, Barrow and others – at risk of bursting their banks as water levels now at the highest in four years.

February 11: Now it's snow. A status Orange alert sounded for Donegal because of snow and wind. Twelve counties affected.

Feb 12: Storm Darwin strikes with devastating force across the south and south west. The next storm is due tomorrow, Met Eireann says.

Irish Independent

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