Friday 28 April 2017

Heavy rain sparks traffic warnings as circus rescued from flood waters

Water surrounds Circus Vegas
Water surrounds Circus Vegas
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Wet roads are causing traffic problems in parts of the country this morning as flood alerts have been issued in a number of areas.

There has been almost five days of torrential rain with the worst hit areas in Munster.

A Status Yellow Rainfall Warning is in place for Cork and Kerry until midday today.

Wet roads are reported in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford and in towns of Ennis, Thurles, Castlebar and Sligo Town.

Motorists are also advised to watch out for wind blown debris on roads, particularly on secondary routes.

In Wicklow a four-car crash on the N11 northbound at Junction 10 Delgany is causing delays while in Dublin the North Quays are busy.

A number of areas in Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Tipperary have seen rivers break their banks and towns placed on flood alert.

Flood barriers had to be erected in Fermoy in north Cork as the River Blackwater surged to near-flood levels.

Outside Mallow, an entire circus had to be rescued after the river flooded its show field.

A tractor had to be used to help guide a number of circus animals to dry ground after they were stranded in the rapidly flooding field.

Circus Vegas had been outside the north-Cork town for a popular annual run of shows due to conclude yesterday.

However, circus staff and locals were taken aback by the speed with which the River Blackwater flooded fields adjacent to Cork Racecourse.

Luckily, racecourse officials familiar with the river were able to alert circus staff as to the impending flood. Sixty staff and families had to evacuate the flooded field and set up temporary camp on the roadside.

The main 'big top' tent could not initially be removed from the field because flood waters were too high. Circus Vegas is now hoping to move to Kerry for its next run of shows.

Cork County Council officials are also carefully monitoring the Rivers Bandon, Bridewell and Ilen. In Tipperary, the River Suir has flooded low lying fields but flood defences have ensured there is no threat to major towns like Clonmel.

Met Éireann stressed that mixed weather conditions, including rain, are likely over the coming week.

Irish Independent

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